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Are summer camps open? What are the safety requirements?

Last Updated: 06/10/2021

Residential and overnight camps may open this summer.

All overnight and day camps must follow the COVID-19 health and safety protocols outlined by the New Jersey Department of Health.

To mitigate the transmission of COVID-19, the Department of Health guidance includes the following requirements:

  • Vaccinated campers and staff are not required to wear masks in indoor or outdoor settings.
  • Indoors, unvaccinated campers are encouraged to wear face coverings at all times, but particularly when physical distancing is difficult, unless (1) doing so is impracticable, such as when a camper is eating or drinking or (2) while the individual is in the water.
  • Outdoors, campers are not required to mask, regardless of their vaccination status.
  • Unvaccinated campers are encouraged to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings or during activities that involve sustained close contact with other people who are not fully vaccinated.
  • Indoors, unvaccinated staff must wear face masks at all times except when not practicable, such as when eating or drinking, sleeping, or swimming.
  • Outdoors, unvaccinated staff are strongly encouraged to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings or during activities that involve sustained close contact with other people who are not fully vaccinated.
  • Face masks should not be put on any child under the age of two.
  • Camps must supply their staff and campers with face masks.
  • Document vaccination status for fully vaccinated staff and campers
  • Daily health screenings for staff, campers, and volunteers.
  • Policies and protocols for when a staff member or camper receives a positive COVID-19 test result.
  • Require staff and campers who are sick or have recently had a close contact with a person with COVID-19 to stay home.
  • Ensure, to the maximum extent possible, that groups include the same children and staff each day. Camp operators should minimize unvaccinated staff/camper movement between groups.
  • For overnight camps, all unvaccinated/partially vaccinated staff/campers will be required to have a documented negative test within 72 hours of arriving on-site. All unvaccinated/partially vaccinated staff/campers will be required to receive a test within 3 to 6 days of arrival. Operators should strongly encourage unvaccinated staff and campers to quarantine prior to arrival at camp.
  • Fully vaccinated campers and staff are not required to participate in routine testing for COVID-19.

For a full list of required safety policies, refer to the Department of Health's 2021 COVID-19 Youth Summer Camp Standards.

Swimming Pools

Pools must follow the appropriate requirements from the Department of Health's COVID-19 Pools and Aquatic Recreation Facility Standards.

Source: DOH COVID-19 Pools and Aquatic Recreation Facility Standards, Executive Order No. 237; https://www.state.nj.us/health/legal/covid19/2021%20Youth%20Camp%20Standards%206-9-21%20Final.pdf; Executive Order No. 242.