Child care facilities, day camps and overnight camps must implement capacity limits and enforce mask-wearing mandates for unvaccinated children and staff under new guidelines announced Monday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
Staff who are not fully vaccinated must maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from other unvaccinated staff, he said. The sites must also determine and enforce a capacity limit that ensures “appropriate” social distancing.
Children and campers over the age of 2 and staff who are not fully vaccinated must wear face coverings except when eating, drinking, showering, swimming, or sleeping/resting.
Some camps on Long Island did not open last summer, while those that did operated at much lower capacity and under many restrictions.
The new regulations go into effect immediately.
“We are continuing to make incredible progress against COVID and lifting restrictions based on the science and numbers, but we are not yet at the finish line,” Cuomo said.
“To help ensure maximum protections for staff and children at child care and camp programs, we are issuing this guidance so the facilities can implement basic but critical measures that will allow them to operate safely.”
The facilities and programs must collect COVID-19 vaccination status and documentation for all staff and children, and implement mandatory daily health screening practices of their staff and visitors including daily temperature checks, Cuomo said in a statement.
They also need to notify the state and local health departments immediately if they have a positive COVID-19 test result by a staff member or child.
The facilities or programs must provide masks and require their use for anyone there who is not fully vaccinated, Cuomo said.
The governor made the announcement the same day the state implemented a major reopening of its economy and other activities after more than a year of shutdown or heavy restrictions.
Capacity limits were lifted at businesses ranging from hair salons to fitness centers, while vaccinated people do not have to wear masks in most situations.
“Today is a milestone in New York State’s war against COVID,” Cuomo said. “With positivity and hospitalization rates at their lowest levels since last fall, and more than 10 million New Yorkers having received at least one vaccine dose, today New York State is adopting the CDC’s updated guidance on masks and social distancing.
“This means that, 399 days after New York was the first state in the country to implement a mask mandate, effective today, fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to use a face covering in most public places. New York is coming back, and it’s a testament to the strength and grit of New Yorkers who banded together, stayed tough, and fought as one to defeat this COVID beast.”
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