Sorry, kids: We hate to break the bad news, but sleepaway camp in New York has been canceled this year.
Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker said that the risks are too great to move forward with overnight programs, according to a statement from the New York Department of Health. Social distancing and mask use would be too difficult to enforce amongst campers.
"Overnight camps have congregate settings and sleeping arrangements in close quarters that present too many risks," Dr. Zucker said. "In such a setting, even a single positive case in a camper or staff member could create an untenable quarantine situation and overwhelm camp health personnel that may not be able to handle a serious infectious outbreak of this nature."
Although the news is undoubtedly disappointing to children, there are some glimmers of hope for the season ahead: NYC pools might reopen after all—something Mayor Bill de Blasio stated during a press briefing earlier this week. And perhaps playgrounds will well. Governor Cuomo has given the green light for localities to reopen playgrounds—provided they use discretion and their region's health data as a guide—but NYC isn't quite there...yet.
"The day is coming, it's not here yet, but the day is coming we'll be able to open up them again," de Blasio said this week.
Summer isn't going to be what we're accustomed to, but there are still ways to make the most out of it: Check out these great hiking trails for NYC families for a taste of the outdoors. If you're looking for camp alternatives, see what's happening with your favorite day programs (day camps in New York can resume June 29) or check out these virtual offerings.
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