Are your kids among the 11 million kids who usually go to a summer camp or day camp each year?
Are they going this summer?
Did you plan for a COVID-19 test?
Getting a Covid-19 Test Before Going to Summer Camp
While many parents are likely thrilled that their kids can still even go to camp, they might be confused on why they need to get a COVID-19 test if their child hasn’t been sick.
Your pediatrician is likely shaking their head about it too.
After all, there is no recommendation for general testing in the guidelines for opening up summer camps.
Instead, the CDC says to “screen children and employees upon arrival for symptoms and history of exposure.”
“He said that optimally camps would retest each camper upon arrival and several times more through the summer: six times for a seven-week session and four times for a five-week session.”Summer Camp Kids Are America’s Coronavirus Test Subjects
The CDC guidelines on Youth and Summer Camps do mention testing.
“Some camps might have the capacity to conduct COVID-19 testing. CDC has guidance for who should be tested, but these decisions should be made in conjunction with state and local health departments and healthcare providers.”CDC on Suggestions for Youth and Summer Camps
But still, that guidance isn’t to test everyone, but only those who are high risk, with symptoms, or with suspected COVID-19.
What’s the problem with testing everyone at camp?
It could lead these camps to rely too much on testing instead of cleaning and disinfecting and encouraging hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, cloth face coverings, and social distancing, etc.
Remember, COVID-19 tests can give false-negative results, so some people might actually be infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and have a negative test. Without a healthy environment at camp, that person might get many other kids and staff members sick.
And a true negative test just means that you are negative when the test was done. It doesn’t mean that you will remain negative until you have your next test.
Also, just because you aren’t testing everyone doesn’t mean that you can’t test those kids and staff members once they begin to show symptoms.
Are your kids going to summer camp this year?
Do they need a COVID-19 test before they go and while they are at camp?
More on COVID-19 Tests for Summer Camps
- Kids and COVID-19
- Why Are Social Distancing Kids Still Getting Sick?
- When to Call Your Pediatrician – COVID-19 Edition
- COVID-19 Vaccine Update
- Get All of Your COVID-19 Questions Answered
- The Second COVID-19 Wave Might Not Be COVID-19
- CDC – Suggestions for Youth and Summer Camps
- Checklist For Resident/overnight Youth Camp Operators and Staff (Texas)
- Summer Camp Kids Are America’s Coronavirus Test Subjects
- Creating Healthy Camp Experiences
- False Negatives and Reinfections: the Challenges of SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR Testing
- Study Raises Questions About False Negatives From Quick COVID-19 Test
- Doctors condemn secrecy over false negative Covid-19 tests
- Coronavirus: Asymptomatic transmission still an ‘open question’
Last Updated on August 22, 2020 by Vincent Iannelli, MD