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Summer camps in Georgia prepare to open with these new rules

Gov. Kemp issued the guidelines in an executive order signed earlier this week.

ATLANTA — Directors of some summer day camps in Georgia are getting ready to open after Gov. Brian Kemp issued guidelines allowing them to do so.  

Some parents who have had children at home since March like the idea of giving their kids some time at a camp this summer.

"I think it would be beneficial to all of us to have a little break from one another," said Mary Beth Martin of DeKalb County. She expects her three school age children will go to camp this summer.  

But camps will have new rules – imposed by the state of Georgia. There’s a list of 32 new requirements for day camps accepting children including:

  • Children and workers to be checked for fever and other COVID-19 symptoms each day; 
  • Parents remaining in vehicles at check-in;
  • Campers' hands get squirted with hand sanitizer upon drop-off. 
  • It allows groups of up to twenty adults and children with no social distancing requirement – keeping those groups together for the duration of the camp with no mingling with other groups. 
  • It requires masks for workers “as appropriate.” 
  • It requires a quick exit of any sick camper or worker, with no return for at least ten days.

Overnight camps remain closed, though the governor's order says that's at the discretion of the state Department of Public Health.

At the High Museum, an annual daytime art camp may return. 

At Oak Grove United Methodist Church, an annual day camp will stay closed, according to Rev. Dr. Beth LaRocca-Pitts. She told 11Alive News that she didn't believe it was safe enough to reopen.

But Camp Zone of Light Studio in northeast Atlanta will reopen. 

"We’re really pleased to be able to open up. We’ve been out of work since this pandemic began," said Amy Wilson, who runs the camp. She’s planning to exceed the governor’s guidelines with smaller classes and enforced social distancing.

"I’m grateful to have the opportunity to make healthy choices," Wilson said.

Martin said parents also should have a choice.  

"They're going to be playing out in the creek anyway. So I say, let them play with other kids and let that be my decision," she said.

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information. 

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information.

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