As the summer is fast approaching, New York State Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein says it is time to have an honest and candid discussion about opening sleepaway summer camps. In the larger context of the COVID-19 pandemic, reopening the state will be a slow and deliberate process, with the health and safety of all New Yorkers the primary consideration. With the proper guidelines and protocols, Assemblyman Eichenstein says that sleepaway camp can potentially be a safe option for our children this summer.
Assemblyman Eichenstein points out that sleepaway camps are unique in that they potentially are able to create a locked down and highly controlled environment. With the proper procedures in place, including regular testing and eliminating all visitation and camp trips, the children can thrive and enjoy a fun filled and relaxing summer – something they desperately deserve during these difficult times.
At a recent virtual conference conducted by CNBC, former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb recognized that we are “still in the early innings” while noting that “sleepaway camps have the potential to create a protective bubble.” In fact, the Association of Jewish Camp Operators recently sent a detailed COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan to Governor Cuomo, outlining a comprehensive list of strict protocols that can be put in place at every sleepaway camp this summer. These guidelines were proposed in consultation with a panel of prestigious public health professionals and medical doctors who are experts in infectious diseases. Assemblyman Eichenstein has acknowledged that initial conversations with the senior staff at the Governor’s Office are ongoing, but these conversations are in the early stages and there is still much more to discuss.
“Our children have spent weeks and weeks at home and are eager to spend quality time with their peers in a wholesome and happy camp environment,” said Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein. “While there’s no doubt that the safety of our children must be our number one priority, I urge Governor Cuomo to join us and have a real conversation about this. Just like the state found a way to open beaches, we must have a conversation on how camps can potentially work with the proper guidelines in place. This will benefit everyone – both children and parents.”
Assemblyman Eichenstein continued, “I’ve reviewed the guidelines proposed by the Association of Jewish Camp Operators and am impressed with the level of commitment these camps are willing to undertake so that they can provide an enriching and fulfilling summer to their young campers.”