The following interim guidance is provided to all youth camps operating in Maryland regarding the ongoing response to novel coronavirus-19 (COVID-19). The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) is encouraging all camps to begin preparations now for the possibility that COVID-19 will be present in the environment when the camp opens and for the duration of the camp season.
Key recommendations contained in this guidance include:
- All camps should have a health plan that includes clear direction to staff and parents about the camp’s procedures to manage a sick child;
- Camps should know how and when to contact local health departments if a child develops symptoms that could be related to COVID-19;
- Camps should ensure that their emergency plans include clear procedures for temporary closure or suspension of certain events, and residential camps should plan for the possibility of a voluntary quarantine of campers and staff; and
- Parents should clearly understand the camp’s policies regarding notification and closure.
Maryland Department of Health will provide ongoing guidance and information to camps throughout the year, and will also provide templates for camps to communicate to parents and staff regarding COVID-19.
Information for Youth Camps Covered Under the Maryland Youth Camp Act
For youth camps covered under Maryland Code Annotated, Title 14 Sub-Title 4 (the Maryland Youth Camp Act) and associated regulations (Code of Maryland Regulations 10.16.06 and 10.16.07), additional information is provided below.
Per current regulations for youth camps, Health and Medication Requirements for Youth Camps (COMAR 10.16.07), youth camp programs must have procedures in their Health Program for the camp staff members to observe campers each day for easily discernible signs of injury or illness and to prevent the spread of an infectious disease using hand washing procedures, personal protective equipment, personal hygiene and an exposure control plan, see COMAR 10.16.07.03.
Also, camps should review with staff, the requirements for Acute Illness and Communicable Disease in COMAR 10.16.07.12:
10.16.07.12 Exclusion for Acute Illness and Communicable Disease.
A. An operator shall ensure that camp staff members:
(1) Monitor a camper for signs and symptoms of acute illness such as vomiting, diarrhea, or a fever;
(2) Arrange for first aid or medical treatment upon observing a sign or symptom of acute illness;
(3) Restrict an affected camper from participating in camp activities so that the camper’s illness is not communicated to another individual;
(4) Provide supervision for an affected camper so that the camper is within sight and hearing of the supervising staff member; and
(5) Upon observing a sign or symptom of acute illness:
(a) Report an illness in accordance with Regulation .06E of this chapter; and
(b) Except for a residential camp as defined in COMAR 10.16.06.02, notify the camper’s parent, guardian, or other designated person that the camper may not remain at camp.
B. When an acute illness is reported to the health supervisor, the health supervisor shall:
(1) Provide medical consultation or treatment; and
(2) Report the situation to the local health department in accordance with COMAR 10.06.01.
C. If a camper is exhibiting a symptom of acute illness, an operator may not:
(1) Admit an individual to a camp; or
(2) Except for a residential camp as defined in COMAR 10.16.06.02, allow a camper to remain in a camp.
D. An operator may not knowingly allow an individual to participate, work, or volunteer at camp during the period of communicability of a disease or condition listed in COMAR 10.06.01, unless:
(1) The individual is under the care of a licensed health care practitioner; and
(2) A licensed health care practitioner or local health officer as applicable approves, in writing, the individual’s attendance.