CHICAGO — Day camps will be allowed to reopen in Phase 3 of the state’s Restore Illinois plan.
Most of the state will enter Phase 3 of Gov. JB Pritzker’s reopening plan after May 29, and thousands of businesses — from non-essential retail stores to salons and office spaces — will be allowed to reopen. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Chicago isn’t there yet, but she hopes to enter Phase 3 in early June.
Parents have worried about how they’d return to work without care for their kids. Pritzker announced Friday he’d allow child care centers to reopen — with reduced capacity — but it wasn’t clear until Sunday that day camps would be allowed to come back, as well.
The camps can return, but they’ll have strict capacity limits and guidelines to keep people safe from coronavirus.
Guidance from the state says only day camps will be allowed — meaning no overnight camps are permitted.
The camps that do reopen can only operate at 50 percent capacity in indoor facilities, according to the state’s guidelines. Coordinators should keep their groups of kids to 10 or fewer, and the groups should stay 30 feet away from each other.
Camps shouldn’t allow staff or kids to mix between their 10-person groups, and if there are children from the same family at camp they should be in the same group if possible, according to the state.
And the state says camps should “emphasize outdoor, socially distant activities as much as possible” and must set up activities that allow for 6-foot distancing between children. Any activities that don’t allow for that distancing should not be allowed, according to the newly released guidelines.
Here are other changes:
- Water fountains, except for touchless bottle refilling stations, should not be usable
- Activities requiring physical exertion should only take place outdoors
- Water-based activities will not be allowed
- There should be a designated room separate from others for anyone who exhibits coronavirus-like symptoms during the day so those people can isolate
The camps will also have to follow general guidance, like having people wear face coverings, keeping people 6 feet apart from each other and having employees work from home if they’re able to do so.
Here’s the state’s guidance for day camps:
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