Here's what experts are saying about summer camp safety this year

Dr. Anthony Fauci says re-opening camps this summer is "conceivable."

Experts are weighing on summer camp safety this summer.

It may only be March, but many parents are already wondering and worrying about what they'll be able to do with their kids this summer as the pandemic continues. Dr. Anthony Fauci is offering a little bit of hope, expressing optimism about summer camps in a new interview.

Fauci appeared on CBS's Face the Nation, saying that the safe reopening of summer camps could depend on what happens with coronavirus infection rates between now and then, as well as the pace of vaccinations.

"If we get into the summer and you have a considerable percentage of the population vaccinated, and the level in the community gets below that plateau that's worrying me and my colleagues in public health," he said, "it is conceivable that you would have a good degree of flexibility during the summer, even with the children with things like camps."


Fauci warned that it will be sometime before we know if the country is on track for that, but said it's a good target to focus on. "I think that's an aspirational goal that we should go for," explained.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released its recommendations for summer camp safety, pointing out that we know a lot more about the virus this year than we did last year.

The AAP wrote that children at camp should "continue to maintain physical distance, perform proper hand hygiene, and wear masks." The AAP placed special emphasis on masks, saying "the vast majority of children, even those with medical conditions, are able to safely and effectively wear face masks with adequate practice and support as well as modeling from adults." The guidelines also stress that camp directors need to work closely with local health authorities on testing and tracing when cases op up. Keeping campers outdoors as much as possible was also strongly recommended.

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The pandemic forced more than 60% of summer camps to close in 2020, but 2021 could potentially look a lot brighter—which the AAP noted would be a big win for kids. "During the summer, it is important that children begin to reestablish connections with their friends, peers, and non-parental adults in an environment that supports their development," the AAP wrote.

Right now, vaccination rates and rising infection rates in many states are running neck and neck. If the U.S. can beat back the increase in positive coronavirus cases, kids across the country could be in line for a much better summer than the last one.

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