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    COVID-19 Recommendations for Youth Camps

    ​Youth camps can take steps to help keep staff and campers healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. By implementing layered protection strategies, youth camps can effectively lower - although not eliminate - the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak at their facility.

    Camp directors/operators should refer to the CDC's FAQs on the topic, as well as the MDH and MSDE Joint Guidance for Schools and Child Care Update (March 2, 2022). Youth camps are highly recommended to develop a written plan to mitigate COVID-19, including policies and procedures for vaccine requirements, masking, and outbreak response. This plan can be tailored depending on the current COVID-19 Community Levels. The camp should clearly communicate this plan to staff and parents/guardians.​ The following recommendations can assist camps in developing their COVID-19 plan.


    • ​The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommend that all staff and campers are up to date​ on their COVID-19 vaccinations, including booster dose(s) when eligible.
    • Youth camps are not precluded by state law or policy from accepting unvaccinated campers, so long as this is clearly communicated to parents and the camp has the capacity to quarantine unvaccinated individuals who have been potentially exposed to COVID-19. Additional measures, such as wearing a mask, daily symptom screenings, and frequent testing, are highly recommended for unvaccinated individuals. ​

    Masks & Face Coverings

    • MDH strongly recommends​, but does not require, that all individuals who are not fully vaccinated continue to wear face coverings in all indoor settings outside of their home and in outdoor settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained. 
    • Each youth camp may set their own policies regarding masks and face coverings. ​


    Outbreak Response

    • In the event of a suspected COVID-19 outbreak, camp directors should have a plan to quickly isolate those who have tested positive or are showing symptoms of COVID-19 and identify close contacts who may have been exposed.
    • People who are up to date on COVID-19 vaccinnations do not need to quarantine if they were exposed (and not showing symptoms).
    • For day camps, individuals should complete their isolation or quarantine at home and not return to camp until they are cleared from isolation or quarantine.
    • For overnight camps, campers and staff who have completed at least 5 days of isolation or quarantine should wear a well-fitting mask around other people through day 10. These campers and staff can return to daytime activities, provided they wear a mask. They should be separated from the group when they cannot wear a mask, for example when they are sleeping or eating.
    • Campers who are isolating or quarantining should be housed together for sleeping through day 10 (one area for those completing isolation and another area for those completing quarantine).
    • For more information, please see the CDC's FAQs for Camp Directors and the MDH and MSDE Joint Guidance for Schools and Child Care Update.​

    Everyday Prevention Strategies

    • Keep campers and staff home when sick.
    • Increase ventillation or move activities outside when possible and safe to do so.
    • Promote hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
    • Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly.
    • Cohort campers to reduce widespread exposures.
    • Modify higher-risk activities, such as close contact sports.
    • Screen campers and staff for symptoms of COVID-19​.