This story was reported by Rachelle Blidner, Matthew Chayes, Bart Jones i Beth Whitehouse. It was written by Jones.
Childcare facilities, day camps and night camps must implement capacity limits and enforce mandates for the use of unvaccinated children and staff in accordance with the new guidelines announced on Wednesday by the Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.
Staff who are not fully vaccinated should keep a distance of at least 6 feet from other unvaccinated personnel, he said. Sites must also determine and apply a capacity limit that ensures “adequate” social distancing.
Children and campers over the age of 2 and staff who are not fully vaccinated should wear facials except when eating, drinking, showering, swimming or sleeping / resting.
What you need to know
The governor announced new COVID-19 guidelines for camps and daycares, including capacity limits and mandates for the use of unvaccinated children and staff.
Facilities and programs must be collected Status and documentation of COVID-19 vaccination for all staff and children, and implement mandatory daily staff and visitor screening practices.
The announcement was made as the state implemented a major reopening of its economy and other activities, and as COVID-19 indicators continued to fall.
Some fields on Long Island did not open last summer, while those that did operate at a much lower capacity and under many restrictions.
The new regulations come into force immediately.
“To help ensure maximum protection for staff and children from daycare and camping programs, we are issuing this guide so that facilities can implement basic but critical measures that allow them to operate safely,” Cuomo said.
Facilities and programs should collect COVID-19 vaccination status and documentation for all staff and children and implement mandatory daily health screening practices for their staff and visitors, including daily checks. of temperature, Cuomo said.
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They should also notify the state and local health departments immediately if they have a positive COVID-19 test result by a staff member or child.
Facilities and programs must provide masks and require their use for anyone who is not fully vaccinated, Cuomo said.
Local camp officials react
Long Island camp officials said they still digest the 23-page document from the state, but that among the most important points was that for day camps, cohort groups could go beyond the 15-day limit. last summer to a maximum of 36.
The regulations also indicate that bus transport can be returned with social distancing, but that the rules have been tightened on farmers wearing masks when outdoors.
“New York State did a pretty good job balancing the safety of COVID, even though it allowed the kids to be kids and enjoy the benefits of the camp,” said Will Pierce, owner / manager of Pierce Country Camp. Roslyn Day and president of the 30-member Long Island Association of Colonies and Private Schools.
All of last summer’s regulations, such as daily health monitoring and hand hygiene throughout the day, are still in effect, Pierce said.
However, Pierce and Mark Transport, co-owners of Crestwood Country Day Camp in Melville, said they were surprised by the requirement that campers should wear outdoor masks this summer.
“Last year we had a serious protocol, but the kids didn’t wear masks outside,” Transport said. “I think any thought that kids will have to wear masks outside goes backwards and I don’t think anyone sees any logic in it.”
The requirements specify, however, that campers may remove masks when they cannot tolerate a face being covered for physical activity or when they are swimming.
“I think the message for parents is that when kids play outdoors, they won’t wear masks,” Pierce said. Transport said it believes the outer mask requirement can still be revised.
As for sleeping camps, Mark Newfield, owner of the Iroquois Springs sleeping camp in Catskills, where a quarter of campers are from Long Island, said the guide on how many campers can sleep in a cabin and what diagnostic tests they will do it is not unexpected.
“I think it portrays exactly where things are right now,” he said.
A “milestone” as the numbers improve
The governor made the announcement on the same day that the state implemented a major reopening of its economy and other activities after more than a year of closure or severe restrictions.
Capacity limits were raised in companies ranging from hairdressers to fitness centers, while vaccinated people do not have to wear masks in most situations.
“Today is a milestone in New York State’s war against COVID,” Cuomo said.
COVID-19 indicators continued to fall in the latest test results on Tuesday.
The state-level daily positive level on COVID-19 testing was 1%, while the seven-day average was 1.06%, the lowest since September 27th.
The seven-day average was 0.91% on Long Island and 0.86% in New York City.
Statewide hospitalizations declined in 64 patients as of Monday, to 1,521, the lowest since Nov. 8.
The number of new confirmed cases was 74 in Nassau County, 79 in Suffolk County and 472 in New York City.
Statewide, 21 people died Tuesday from virus-related causes, including two in Suffolk.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said key indicators in the city for hospitalizations, new cases and positivity levels are below the thresholds of concern.
Meanwhile, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced Wednesday that local veterans, seniors and residents who can’t drive can get free trips to county vaccination sites starting June 1st.
County officials are partnering with the Lyft shared service in a $ 25,000 pilot program to provide free travel to certain residents and reduce vaccine access barriers.
Bellone’s announcement comes a week after President Joe Biden announced an agreement with travel sharing services Uber and Lyft to provide free travel to coronavirus vaccination sites through the fourth of July.
Unlike the federal program, eligible Suffolk residents will not have to download a travel sharing app (which typically requires users to have a smartphone and a bank account) to access free travel.
Suffolk residents can call 311 for attractions.
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