ATLANTA — Summer camps will be allowed in Georgia, starting Thursday, Gov. Brian Kemp announced on Tuesday.
The governor made the announcement during a news conference to provide an update on the state's COVID-19 response. He issued an executive order extending several provisions - including keeping bars and nightclubs closed through the end of the month - as well as revising others.
The governor said that "countless families" had called his office to ask about the matter of summer camps.
He said state officials had "developed strict criteria so that these camps can start planning now to reopen with safeguards in place." He said there are 32 minimum requirements in order for day camps to operate.
"Starting May 14, 2020, summer day camps are allowed to operate if they can meet 32 minimum mandatory criteria. These requirements are extensive and cover a wide range of operations to ensure the safety of camp workers and participants of all ages," the governor said. "Even though we have these measures in place to allow for summer camps, we are not allowing overnight summer camps in Georgia at this time."
He added officials would "continue to watch the data, keep a close eye on compliance and make decisions based on a case by case basis when (Public Health Commissioner) Dr. Toomey and the Department of Public Heath determine it is safe to resume overnight camping."
The governor said his office had also been been hearing that the CDC would soon issue guidance on summer camp operations and that "when that happens, their guidance will control; but until that time we will put out guardrails so people can begin making plans."
He said the state had defined a summer camp as "any entity offering organized sessions of supervised recreational, athletic or instructional activities held between typical school terms, including entities commonly referred to as day camps."
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