By Jill Fox
Camps may be getting the green light to open, but the day’s events will look a whole lot different.
On Sunday, the City of Parkland followed Broward County’s lead issuing a new emergency order allowing for youth activities and summer camps to begin.
Effective June 8, 2020, camps and establishments offering such activities can take place in Parkland parks subject to compliance with the current guidelines during phase one of reopening.
The order permits operating while following all social distancing guidelines, including wearing masks and staying six feet apart, among many other requirements.
Additionally, groups larger than ten people must be divided into subgroups of ten or less and be independently supervised.
Broward County first issued Emergency Order 20-15 last Friday to “provide the community with opportunities for exercise and entertainment, under safer conditions during this continuing public health crisis.”
Parkland City Manager Nancy Morando followed suit on Sunday with Emergency Order 2020-010, extending park hours and youth activities.
It explains how camps must comply with the CDC’s Considerations for Youth and Summer Camps, and how the risk of COVID-19 spread increases in various camp settings.
According to the CDC, those at the lowest risk of exposure would have small groups of campers who stay together all day, every day. Campers must remain at least six feet apart and not share objects. Outdoor activities must be prioritized, and all campers should be from the same local area.
More camp requirements include checking employees’ temperatures each day before work and keeping attendance records of campers to facilitate contact tracing if it becomes necessary.
The order also mentioned specifics, like installing physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and providing tape on the floors directing one-way traffic, like in grocery stores.
Parks will continue to be open daily for passive use, with extended hours, but playgrounds and outdoor exercise equipment will remain closed.
Basketball courts are closed for individual use, and organized sports are only permitted within athletic leagues or organized programs.
For those looking for more summer entertainment, the next course of action begins on June 15, permitting indoor amusement facilities, such as bowling alleys, arcades, and movie theaters, to open at 50 percent capacity. Social distancing requirements must be followed, except for people within the same household or group.
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.