MAGIC VALLEY — With summer approaching, parents are gearing up to send their kids to summer camp.
But health officials with St. Luke's say there are things parents need to be aware of to keep their children safe.
One major recommendation before sending your kids to camp? Test for COVID-19 several days ahead, especially if it is an overnight camp.
“Adhering to the same precautions you were doing before — using masks when your indoors, trying to keep your kids in a camp where you are dealing with maybe a smaller group of the same kids day in a day out," said Dr. Martha Taylor, St. Luke’s Health System medical director for Urgent Care.
Camp organizers at the Boys and Girls Club of the Magic Valley have been working with The South Central Public Health District to ensure the safety of the kids and their staff by sanitizing surfaces and providing health screenings every morning.
🧵Just in time for summer break children ages 12-15 can now be protected against the coronavirus by getting vaccinated at @StLukesHealth. @US_FDA EUA for Pfizer/BioNTech #COVID19vaccine for this younger age group was approved by @CDCgov today. Here's what parents need to know:— Anita Kissée (@StLukesAnita) May 12, 2021
“Simply just taking their temperature quick and then asking them some of the few basic questions are you feeling well today have you been exposed to covid? Have you been showing any of the symptoms," said Bri Owen with the Boys and Girls Club of the Magic Valley.
Parents are also encouraged to ask organizations what safety protocols they are taking and what they would do in case somebody did contract COVID-19.
“Those are good questions to either ask or to look at on their website to help decide between camps or if you’re hesitant about if somebody has a good monitoring system if you should send your child," Taylor said.
"...Adhering to the same precautions you were doing before, using masks when your indoors, trying to keep your kids in a camp where you are dealing with maybe a smaller group of the same kids day in a day out," Dr. Taylor said.
For those parents who want to send their kids to multiple summer camps, it is not ideal but is possible as long as you can quarantine for two weeks before switching camps.
“I certainly wouldn’t recommend if you don’t have the ability to do so, but if you are able to do it in a safe way that going to multiple camps should definitely be an option this summer," Taylor said.