No masks needed for vaccinated summer campers, CDC says

Camp programs should be supportive of campers or staff who choose to wear a mask, CDC urges
By: | May 28, 2021

Campers who are vaccinated do not have to wear masks this summer, the CDC announced in new COVID safety guidance issued Friday.

Camps can also dispense with social distancing and can return to full capacity if everyone involved is vaccinated, the agency said in accordance with its “Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.”

Other federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations could supersede this guidance.

“In general, people don’t need to wear masks outdoors. That includes unvaccinated and fully vaccinated people due to the really low risk of transmission outside,” Erin Sauber-Schatz, head of the CDC’s Community Interventions and Critical Populations Task Force, told NBC News.

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Sauber-Schatz cautioned that unvaccinated campers and staff should consider wearing masks, even outdoors, when assembled in large groups or singing, NBC News reported.

However, masks should never been worn in the water, as wet masks can cause breathing difficulties and may not be effective in blocking COVID or other viruses, NBC News said.

Camp programs should be supportive of campers or staff who choose to wear a mask, the agency said in its guidance. Also, camps should continue to use multiple prevention strategies to protect people who are not fully vaccinated, the CDC recommended.

This includes assigning campers to cohorts that stay together for the summer as much as possible. The summer camp guidance also covers:

  • How camps can choose safer activities.
  • Information for staff and campers who are at increased risk of getting severely ill from COVID.
  • New details on the use of cloth masks to prevent COVID.
  • Guidance on summer camp field trips.