New Jersey Summer Camps Rules Released by Health Department; Pools to Open June 22

State health officials announced guidance for youth camps and summer recreation programs to follow in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

The announcement comes on the same day when Gov. Phil Murphy revealed community pools are allowed to open starting June 22. State health officials as the daily briefing June 8 said they will release guidance on June 9 for the protocols on how pools are to operate.

The protocols for camps, slated to open July 6, were rolled by the state’s Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.

“Opening of camps is important for New Jersey families who are in need of childcare services as a viable option in addition to traditional childcare centers,” said said. “As we open up more activities, we have guidance in place in order to protect the public’s health.”

Camp Rules

Among the practices the state’s health departments want to see include the attempts to social distance, increased hygiene practices, transportation protocols and cleaning requirements.

Persichilli said campers and staff must be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 before entering grounds and anyone showing signs are not allowed to enter the facilities. Camps should strive to cohort children in the same group each day and with the same staff personnel where possible. Mixing between groups should be restricted.

Camps should avoid communal dining and provide staggered meal times to provide social distancing; camp arrival and departures are to be staggered as well. Gloves are to be worn when handling food to campers, with surfaces cleaned and sanitized between each meal service.

Face Coverings Encouraged

Staffers are encouraged to wear cloth masks, with exceptions made for health reasons, extreme heat conditions or in the water. Masks are to be worn by campers and staff when social distancing of assigned groups can not be maintained. 

Hand sanitizers and hand washing stations should be provided in numerous locations on the grounds the camp is being held.

All youth camps are prohibited from on site camp activities engaging in full-contact sports as well as off-site activities. The guidance does not allow for overnight camps. 

Busing Protocols

For those being bussed to and from camp, social distancing protocols are to be followed; face coverings being worn when social distancing can not be maintained. Vehicles should be cleaned and disinfected between each use. 

All camps are mandated to submit an attestation form to the state’s Department of Health 24 hours before the opening date acknowledging their facility has in place COVID-19 youth camp policies and procedures. 

Summer camps will be able to open their swimming pools, Murphy noted.

Daily Data

As of June 8, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 163,336 with 864 new cases and 79 new deaths, bringing that total to 12,049. 

The daily rate of infections from those tested as of June 4 rested at 3.6%. The state is no longer using serology tests as health officials explained those results show a past presence of the disease as well as a current one. By region, the north tested at 2.8%, the central at 3.5% and the south 5.8%.

Of the total deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 1,710, followed by Bergen at 1,621, Hudson with 1,226, Passaic at 975, Morris at 625, Sussex at 149 and Warren with 135. 

State Testing 

Officials reported 1,740 patients are hospitalized with coronavirus—which included 94 new hospitalizations—while 112 patients were discharged. The north tier had 755 patients hospitalized, the central 556 and the south 425.

The daily discharge and new hospitalizations by tier for June 8 was the north charting 44 hospitalizations and 46 discharges, the central having 91 hospitalizations and 66 discharges, and the south reporting 71 hospitalizations and 54 discharges.   

Of those hospitalized, 448 are in intensive care units and 361 on ventilators. There are currently 16 patients in field hospitals, with 474 treated overall. 

Hudson Tops County Count

Hudson has the most cumulative cases in the state with 18,584, followed by Bergen at 18,538, Essex at 18,117, Passaic at 16,461, Union at 16,241, Middlesex at 16,227, Ocean at 9,041, Monmouth at 8,498, Mercer at 7,184, Camden at 6,827, Morris at 6,602, Burlington at 4,798, Somerset at 4,670, Cumberland at 2,575, Atlantic at 2,383, Gloucester at 2,332, Warren at 1,192, Sussex at 1,141, Hunterdon at 1,025, Salem at 682 and Cape May at 647.

Another 744 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.

Demographic Breakdown

The racial breakdown of the record deaths was 54% White, 20% Hispanic, 19% Black, 6% Asian and 3% another race. Murphy has noted the rates in the black and Hispanic communities are running about 50% more than their population in the state. 

In regards to the underlying disease of those who have passed, 59% had cardiovascular disease, 43% diabetes, 32% other chronic diseases, 17% neurological conditions, 15% chronic renal disease, 10% cancer and 14% other. Persichilli has stated most cases have multiple underlying conditions which would push the percentage of 100%.

A census of ages for 9,941 confirmed deaths shows 47% of deaths are of those 80 year old and up, 33% in the range of 65-80, 16% between 50-65 and 4% under the age of 49. 

State officials are tracking cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children who in turn  test positive for COVID-19. Two news cases were reported June 8, increasing the total cases to 39 for children ranging in age from 1-18. All have tested positive for COVID-19 or have antibodies in their blood. One is currently hospitalized. No deaths have been reported from the disease. 

Persichilli stated “Black and Hispanic children account for a disproportionately high number.” While only a small sample, Persichilli reported the racial breakdown in New Jersey was 34% Black, 38% Hispanic, 22% White, 6% Asian and 3% other.

Long-term Care Facilities

Health officials noted 547 long-term care facilities are reporting at least one case of COVID-19 and accounted for 34,578 of the cases, broken down between 23,097 residents and 11,481 staff. The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, which was 5,542 on June 8. The facilities are reporting to the state 6,172 residents deaths and 109 staff deaths. 

In a by-county breakdown:  

Bergen County

  • 63  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 3202 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 1649 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 919  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 11  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Essex County

  • 46  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 2142 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 1002 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 558  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 19  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Morris County

  • 42  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1416 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 679 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 461  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 3  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Passaic County

  • 25  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1236 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 727 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 365  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 14  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Hudson County 

  • 15  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 979 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 524 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 234  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 7  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Sussex County

  • 7  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 254 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 134 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 107  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 4  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Warren County 

  • 7  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 406 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 131 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 111  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 1  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

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