Summer youth camps in Texas have received the green light to open during the coronavirus pandemic from Governor Greg Abbott.
The Republican governor announced on Monday that day and overnight camps, along with youth sports leagues, can start on May 31, provided they practice safety measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.
"I see a group of kids who have had their lives disrupted. They’ve been separated from their friends and peer groups, and they're in households where adults are understandably as anxious as they've ever been," Steve Baskin, the owner and director of Camp Champions in Marble Falls, Texas, told BuzzFeed News. "I think I can help parents who believe that the benefits to their children in camp is worth any anxiety or risk associated with this pandemic."
New state guidelines will require camp operators to provide daily screenings for common coronavirus symptoms to campers and staff members.
"It makes me worried for kids...but in all honesty, it makes me really nervous for the institution of summer camp," Baskin said. "The last thing that I would ever want is for summer camp to be looked back on in history — or in the fall — as part of the reason that we have a second outbreak."
The American Camp Association also released guidelines calling for campers and staff to operate in smaller groups for the length of all sessions. Group members can stand close to one another but must practice social distancing from other camp groups.
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