Summer Camp Safety Guidelines
Summer Camp is here and the Y is ready! The safety of our campers and staff is our top priority and we take this responsibility very seriously. We are committed to making our summer camps just as safe as the emergency relief care we offered while schools were closed. YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg staff are very experienced in keeping children and staff safe, especially during these uncertain times.
The YMCA’s daily schedule focuses on supporting each child’s academic achievement through a variety of strategies and opportunities, including:
- Project-based learning
- Literacy activities
- Computer Lab
- Physical Education
- Outdoor activities
- Arts & Crafts
- STEM activities
- Kid Fit & Nutrition
Additionally, the programs will provide additional support for summer virtual learning. We will also incorporate daily hygiene and health practices with every group of students as outlined below. Each YMCA location will follow weekly summer camp themes with disguised learning activities.
Health and Safety
The safety and well-being of our staff, youth and families is always the Y's top priority. At the Y, everything we do is guided by our cause to strengthen communities, and we are taking extra precautions to ensure the health and safety of our youth campers and staff.
The YMCA will continue to follow the guidance from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This includes:
Healthy Hygiene Practices
- Teach and reinforce washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes among children and staff.
- Teach and reinforce use of cloth face coverings among all staff. Face coverings are most essential at times when social distancing is not possible. Staff should be frequently reminded not to touch the face covering and to wash their hands frequently. Information should be provided to all staff on proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings.
- Have adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors, including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol (for staff and older children who can safely use hand sanitizer), paper towels, and tissues.
- Post signs on how to stop the spread of COVID-19, properly wash hands, promote everyday protective measures, and properly wear a face covering.
Intensify cleaning and disinfection
- Clean, sanitize, and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (for example, playground equipment, door handles, sink handles, drinking fountains) multiple times per day and shared objects between use.
- Avoid use of items (for example, soft or plush toys) that are not easily cleaned, sanitized, or disinfected.
- Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants and keep products away from children.
Promote social distancing
- Ensure that classes include the same group of children each day and that the same childcare providers remain with the same group each day.
- Restrict mixing between groups.
- Cancel all field trips, inter-group events, and extracurricular activities.
- Limit gatherings, events, and extracurricular activities to those that can maintain social distancing and support proper hand hygiene.
- Restrict nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving other groups at the same time.
- Space out seating to 6 feet apart.
- Serve meals in classrooms (instead of cafeteria or group dining room) and provide pre-packaged bagged meals, to limit the use of shared serving utensils.
- Put in place protocols to limit direct contact with parents as much as possible, such as holding drop off and pick up outside of the building at curbside. Staff will escort the children to and from classrooms.
- Keep each child’s belongings separated and in individually labeled storage containers, cubbies, or areas and taken home each day and cleaned, if possible.
- Ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high-touch materials to the extent possible (art supplies, equipment etc. assigned to a single child) or limit use of supplies and equipment by one group of children at a time and clean and disinfect between use.
Monitoring and Preparing
Check for signs and symptoms
- Temperature screening of both staff and children prior to entering the building.
- Handwashing upon entry of building, and upon entry of classroom, for all.
- Encourage staff to stay home if they are sick and encourage parents to keep sick children home.
Plan for when a staff member, child, or visitor becomes sick
- Identify an area to separate anyone who exhibits COVID-like symptoms during hours of operation, and ensure that children are not left without adult supervision.
- Notify local health officials, staff, and families immediately of any possible case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable federal and state privacy laws.
- Close off areas used by any sick person and do not use them until they have been cleaned. Wait 24 hours before you clean or disinfect to reduce risk to individuals cleaning. If it is not possible to wait 24 hours, wait as long as possible. Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants, and keep disinfectant products away from children.
- Advise sick staff members or children not to return until they have met CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation.
- Inform those who have had close contact to a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home and self-monitor for symptoms, and to follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop. If a person does not have symptoms follow appropriate CDC guidance for home isolation.
This is an evolving situation and our team will continue to evaluate our operations based on current information and guidance from health officials. The safety of our members and staff is our top priority. We thank you for your patience and understanding.