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Ohio Department of Health updates camp guidance after 2 COVID-19 cases confirmed

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 11:34 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 19, 2021 at 11:35 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WXIX) - The Ohio Department of Health is advising camps to take measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 after reports of outbreaks linked to two different camps in the western part of the state.

Health officials updated the residential camp guidance Monday with layered prevention tactics that will help control the spread of the virus.

It includes guidance specific to the camp experience, like when to wear and when not to wear face masks. Those who are not fully vaccinated must:

  • Wear masks in any indoor location that is not a residence.
  • Maintain six feet of distance between people who live in different homes when outside.
  • Riding, driving, operating public transportation, taxi, car service, or ride-sharing vehicle.

“If not everyone at a residential camp is fully vaccinated, the layering of strategies is critical to protecting campers, staff, and volunteers,” Dr.Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer at ODH, said. “This is especially important as a new, more contagious strain of COVID-19 settles in our state. Taking these precautions can help reduce the likelihood of spread and allow everyone to safely participate in camp activities.”

Health officials also say they want to minimize mixing groups of people, so campers must be in pods or small groups and stay together.

Those who are not fully vaccinated should socially distance themselves from others.

Dr. Vanderhoff encourages eligible Ohioans to get vaccinated. The vaccine is available to those 12 years and older.

“Vaccination is our most effective tool for preventing COVID-19 and putting the pandemic behind us,” Dr. Vanderhoff said. “These vaccines save lives and will help ensure Ohioans are able to enjoy many more summers to come.”

Officials at Clifton Cultural Arts Center and Camp at the J said the guidelines announced Monday were already part of their strategy.

“To help just keep everybody safe in the best way possible this summer, we have pods of 12 kids with two counselors,” said Camp at the J Director Lauren Glynn. “We also have kiddos who might need some extra assistance, we have extra counselors just for assistance here and there. Every day when campers come, we take their temperatures immediately. When they walk in, we wash their hands.”

“With children as a whole unable to be vaccinated, we are asking that anyone who is unvaccinated or working with children, wear masks,” Clifton Cultural Arts Center’s Emalene Denson said.

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