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Tennesseans 16+: Now Eligible for a COVID-19 Vaccine
Commitment to Accessibility

Youth Camps Guidelines

General Guidelines

  • Face coverings are strongly encouraged for all persons (employee and guest) in all public places where close proximity to others is anticipated. Businesses and organizations may determine to require the use of face coverings by those on premise. There is increasing evidence that cloth face coverings help slow or prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone unable to remove the mask without assistance
  •  Persons should stay home when feeling ill
    • Any person who has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 must isolate at home for 10 days from the onset of their symptoms (or the date they were tested, if asymptomatic) AND must be fever-free (without the use of fever-reducing medications) AND have improvement in symptoms for at least 24 hours
    • Any person who has been a close contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or longer) of a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should quarantine at home for a period of 14 days from their last exposure to that individual. A negative COVID test does not affect this quarantine requirement
  • Screen for COVID-19 symptoms, or ask individuals to self-screen
    • Symptoms include: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sore throat, fever (temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater), chills, new loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
    • Take appropriate precautions to maintain the confidentiality of health information
  • Mitigate exposure in the workplace by implementing social distancing practices to the greatest extent possible
    • Take into account critical factors such as venue capacity and physical characteristics, type of activity involved, and location (indoor vs. outdoor) to properly assess risk and exercise good faith judgment in maintaining appropriate social distancing for each unique situation
    • Such measures could include: spacing workstations appropriately; limiting capacity of gatherings in confined, indoor spaces; utilizing larger and/or outdoor spaces; limiting congregation in common and break areas; utilizing virtual/remote capabilities where possible; allowing work from home where appropriate; and/or modified scheduling
    • Consider the use of barriers at counters or between workstations where helpful
  • Improve ventilation for confined, indoor spaces. Circulate outdoor air where possible and when code compliance and security may be maintained
  • Increase hygiene practices—encourage frequent handwashing with soap and water, make hand sanitizer (60% alcohol) readily available, encourage practicing good respiratory etiquette when coughing or sneezing and avoiding touching one’s face
  • Implement cleaning and disinfection practices according to CDC recommendations, with frequent disinfection of shared/common or high-touch surfaces
  • Plan for potential COVID-19 cases and work with health department officials (including observing isolation/quarantine protocols, assisting with contact tracing, planning for personnel absences or remote work, and deep cleaning facilities). Notify the local health department of employee positive cases and cooperate with the local health department in notifying close contacts
  • If a facility becomes aware that a person has a confirmed case of COVID-19:
    • Close off areas used by the person who is sick. Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the areas
    • Wait up to 24 hours or as long as possible before you clean or disinfect to allow respiratory droplets to settle before cleaning and disinfecting
    • Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is sick, such as offices, bathrooms, and common areas
    • If more than 7 days have passed since the person who is sick visited or used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary
  • Educate persons about COVID-19 with signage (resources available from ERG and CDC)
  • Use signage, floor markings or other cues to direct human traffic flow and manage lines
  • Consider appropriate precautions for people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID
  • Increase remote, curbside, pickup, and/or delivery options to minimize contact and maintain social distancing.  Use contactless methods where practical (e.g., payment, check-in, etc.)
  • Be mindful of applicable state or local COVID-19 regulations or orders and ensure your operations facilitate compliance
  • Evaluate the profile of customer and employee engagement with the venue and other persons at such venue to make appropriate adaptations as necessary to protect against COVID-19, even if not recommended or described in this document
  • Take steps to ensure that all mechanical, electrical, and water systems are properly functioning and safe for use after a prolonged facility shutdown
  • Covered employers and employees should be aware of the provisions of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which allows for paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons, such as for self-quarantining or seeking a medical diagnosis for COVID-19 symptoms

Revised: October 1, 2020

Industry Guidelines

Now, as always, camps and other childcare providers play a critical role in their communities. Each camp must make the decision whether to be open or closed, based on their unique situation and the needs in their community. At a minimum, however, camps seeking to operate during this time should refer the decision tree published by the CDC to determine camp readiness for re-opening. In addition, camps should follow the guidelines discussed here.

These guidelines do not replace or supersede any requirements applicable to your business or licensed employees pursuant to law or regulation. Rather, these guidelines are intended as a supplement to assist with safely reopening and providing services due to COVID-19. These guidelines are subject to change.

  • Limit group sizes and mixing. Cohort campers in small groups and schedule those small groups to do activities and eat meals together. Limit congregation and mixing between cohorts and have dedicated staff for each cohort
  • Campers should be encouraged to wear cloth face coverings if age and developmentally appropriate
  • Any singing activities are encouraged to take place outdoors and maintain at least 15 feet of separation—and more if possible—between persons. Research suggests that activities like singing or using a projected voice may project respiratory droplets in greater quantity and over greater distance, increasing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, particularly with prolonged exposure
  • Limit non-essential persons in the facility to reduce possible COVID-19 exposure. Pick-up and drop-off are encouraged to occur outside the facility if possible. Hand hygiene and health screenings are encouraged before or upon arrival
  • Communicate expectations and precautions to families in advance. Help campers and families understand precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19
  • Minimize field trips that increase mixing of cohorts or increase contact with the public
  • Encourage parents to observe special activities or performances virtually, rather than in-person, where possible
  • Be cautious with staff and campers who live within geographic areas experiencing greater COVID-19 case prevalence
  • Consider additional pre-screening measures, such as obtaining COVID-19 testing or monitoring for symptoms during the 10-14 days prior to arrival
  • For overnight camps, limit dorm/cabin access to residents. Modify sleeping arrangements to incorporate social distancing (e.g., space beds, limit number of persons per cabin or tent)
  • Identify an isolation area to separate anyone who begins to exhibit COVID-like symptoms and is not able to immediately leave the facility. Have the person wear a mask until departure. Monitor persons who had close contact with the ill individual; have any staff with the person wear a face covering and take appropriate protective measures