The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new guidelines for summer camps that are planning to host children this summer.
The guidelines state that all campers must wear masks at all times, with exceptions only for those with certain medical conditions and campers who are eating, drinking, or swimming.
The guidelines state, “Require all campers, staff, and visitors to use well-fitting masks with proper filtration consistently and correctly to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through respiratory droplets. All people in camp facilities should wear masks at all times with exceptions… for certain settings or activities, such as while eating and drinking or swimming.”
Additionally, the guidance states that campers should be placed in small groups, “cohorts,” to limit interaction among campers. Additionally, physical distancing should be required, including “at least 3 feet between all campers within a cohort,” and “at least 6 feet between all campers outside of their cohort.”
The guidelines were updated as of April 24, 2021.
In a recent interview, Savannah Guthrie, co-host of NBC News’ “Today,” asked Dr. Anthony Fauci about the CDC’s new guidance.
“Summer camps are coming up, and a lot of parents are looking forward to sending those kids out and hoping they have a great summer since they weren’t able to last summer,” Guthrie began.
“The CDC guidelines right now for kids in summer camps say, ‘masks must be worn at all times even outdoors by everyone including vaccinated adults and children as young as 2-years-old and campers should stay three feet apart even outdoors.’ My question to you is, given what research shows about transmission outside, about the low risk of serious illness in children, are these CDC guidelines excessive?”
“I wouldn’t call them excessive, but they certainly are conservative,” Dr. Fauci responded before chuckling. “People look at that and they say, ‘Well, is that being a little bit too far right now?’”
Guthrie then interrupted and, “We’ve been told, people have been preaching for a year, follow the science. The science doesn’t suggest those CDC guidelines are too sensible for little kids, outside, in 90-degree heat running around with masks.”
“You’re right, the CDC makes decisions based on science. They will continually reevaluate that, it looks a bit strict, a bit stringent,” Dr. Fauci conceded.
For months, it has been widely known that children are at extraordinarily little risk of dying from COVID-19.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, as of April 29, 2021, there have been 3,782,724 total cases of confirmed COVID-19 among children.
However, even though children accounted for 13.8% of all COVID-19 cases, children have only represented between 0.00%-0.21% of all COVID-19 deaths.
Parents rightly concerned for their children’s health during the pandemic can take comfort that so few deaths from COVID-19 have occurred among children, despite close to four million cases among kids.
And parents who don’t want their young child running around outside with a mask on can hope the CDC will “reevaluate” the new guidelines.
You can follow this author on Parler @ZacharyMettler
Photo from Shutterstock