Summer camps may be allowed to operate this year

·2 min read

It is a summer experience that a lot of kids enjoy and it makes for great memories, but last year over-night camps were cancelled.

The province said it is hoping to give the green light for overnight camps to again welcome kids this summer and let them enjoy the opportunities and experiences the camps provide.

During a press conference, Dr. Charles Gardner, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit Medical Offi-cer of Health, said he is hoping for a “good summer” and defined what he thought a good summer would be.

“A good summer for me would be that we avoid a fourth wave, that we manage to bring down the case count low enough that we can start to open up the outdoor amenities, but also if we’re very fortunate to open up businesses to some degree such as outdoor dining and that kind of thing. I don’t know how quickly we can get to doing more indoor amenities, indoor recreation, indoor business operations. That, we have to be very cautious about, we would need that rate of transmission well under control and high rates of vaccinations to be more assured,” adding that getting people outdoors would “go a long way to improve our quality of life and physical and mental well be-ing.”

With that, he indicated that social distancing requirements and masks will still be needed for quite some time in every day life.

The fact that immunizations for kids 12 years of age and above is going to start will help get things rolling at summer camps.

“The Premier is committed to camps starting,” Dr. Gardner said. “But I think we’ll have to see how things go. I certainly am support-ive of being able to do camps if we can do so safely. Over night camps would [be] a new experience – we didn’t have them last summer. They’re more like congregate settings in that you’ve got kids bunking in the same cabins together and eating in large groups and doing communal activities together. The potential for an outbreak at such a camp certainly would exist.”

If overnight camps are allowed to go ahead this summer, there is a whole list of protocols they would be required to follow.S

ince the start of the pandemic, 11,493 people contract the virus in the health district with 241 deaths.

Of the current case count, 562 are believed to be variants of the CO-VID-19 virus.To date, there have been 3,418 cases of the UK variant reported, 91 of the Brazilian variant, 19 of the South African variant, and two of Indian variant.

There are currently 13 ongoing outbreaks in the region.That includes ten ad workplaces, two at long-term are homes, and one at a childcare centre.

Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times

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