Cuomo to Rule on New York Sleepaway Camps Next Week

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View of Camp Agudah in Ferndale, N.Y.

New Yorkers anxious to find out if sleepaway camps will be open this summer will have to wait until next week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday, pending further information on the Kawasaki-like syndrome affecting children infected with COVID-19.

At his daily press briefing Sunday, a reporter asked Cuomo for an update on the syndrome and whether that would affect his decision on permitting sleepaway camps.

“We’re looking to get more information on the Kawasaki inflammatory syndrome before we make a decision on sleepaway summer camps,” replied the governor. “And I’m going to get an update early next week from Dr. [Howard] Zucker, the Health Commissioner, on the Kawasaki virus, and then we’ll make a decision.”

Cuomo said last week that day camps may open June 29.

Orthodox Jewish elected officials, many of whose constituents are members of large families living in small houses and have already been shut in for months during the lockdown, have been lobbying Cuomo to open sleepaway camps.

“We have assembled a team of medical experts and camp directors who all agree that it is possible to run sleepaway camps safely this year,” Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein told Hamodia on Sunday. “With no alternative summer programming, camps are absolutely essential. The mental- and physical-health benefits of these summer months spent at camp are immeasurably positive for for both children and their parents. Governor Cuomo must allow camps to open.”

“Camps are vital to child development and socialization,” state Sen. Simcha Felder told Hamodia on Sunday. “The contained, controlled community created by sleepaway camps actually mitigates some of the safety issues inherent in gathering. I urge the governor to sanction the opening of sleepaway camps immediately, for our children’s sake and for the many families hoping to get back to work in phase 1, 2 and 3 who rely on them. “

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