2021 COVID Care FAQ’s
Camp Mah-Kee-Nac is excited for our 91st Summer. Our Covid Care plan is being developed and executed in consultation with the American Camp Association, the CDC, our local BOH, and the Medical Team we’ve secured to provide the best and most current care for our campers and staff.
This information is fluid and continues to be updated. The following are answers to Frequently Asked Questions:
Our COVID Care Plan will consist of multiple layers of protection that will include PCR and antigen testing, mask-wearing when necessary, frequent hand washing and sanitizing, cohorting in smaller groups, spending most of our time in the great outdoors, and forming our modified bubble. Please read below for more specific protocols and information. While we cannot guarantee a covid-free season, we are committed to being proactive and making camp as safe, fun, and EXTRAORDINARY as possible.
Leading up to camp and required for both sessions, there will be PCR testing for all campers and staff. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated campers and staff must produce a negative PCR test in order to start camp. Campers and staff will be asked to be vigilant and limit their risk of exposure leading up to camp, especially after testing. Enrolled families have already received pre camp testing protocols. Please reach out if you did not receive, or you have questions.
A modified bubble will allow us to limit who comes in and out of camp, mitigating any unnecessary risk of exposure. While certain deliveries and services are required for camp to run successfully, we will make sure that any staff who interact with vendors are wearing the proper PPE and maintaining physical distance. Staff time-off will most likely take place in and around camp, where staff can experience time and space with their peers. In a modified bubble, camp events like Green & White (Color War), Olympics, and our other iconic special events, intra-camp competitions, and our exceptional daily program can still take place very safely.
We have developed a clear path to safely operate two sessions. Our pre camp compliance and testing protocols are required for both sessions.
Yes. Mah-Kee-Nac has an on-site infirmary complete with a Camp Physician (our Medical Director), 2 RNs, 2 LPNs, 1 COVID Care Manager, and a Health Care Coordinator. Dr. Lawrence Lutner, our Camp Physician, is a board-certified Pediatrician, and Medical Director of a national health insurer. He routinely has clinic hours twice daily, in addition to clinic visits for any child showing signs/symptoms of illness, regardless of the time of day. Camp Mah-Kee-Nac has been certified by the State of Massachusetts as a CLIA-Waived Site for 2021, allowing all Covid-19 tests to be administered by trained camp personnel, on-site.
We will continue with both a combination of rapid antigen and PCR testing on arrival day and then again 5-7 days into camp. From then on, we will test when necessary. We will also perform temperature and symptom screenings regularly. At the start of each session, we plan to be in smaller cohorts by cabin and/or age groups. Campers will wear masks and/or physically distance when mixing with other cohorts. As we continue to be healthy, we plan to increase the cohort sizes and be able to relax mask-wearing and distancing, especially when outdoors. The key is a multifaceted approach to camp with multiple layers of protection.
Right now we know that mask-wearing significantly reduces the spread of Covid-19. We do plan for campers and staff to wear masks during the first phase of camp when physical distancing with other cohorts is not possible. Campers and staff will not need to wear masks when inside their cabins with their pods. After Phase 1, we hope to be able to relax the mask-wearing when mixing with other cohorts, especially when we are outdoors.
Before the start of camp this year, families will have a copy of our COVID Care Manual so you will be aware of the steps we’ll follow in this case. If we have a positive case in camp, we would work closely with our BOH to carry out the steps necessary to keep others safe and control any spread. If a child tests positive at camp, the patient will be isolated from other campers & staff, monitored closely, and treated as necessary. We will follow up immediately with an Abbot Rapid PCR test at BHS. After the camper is isolated, our medical team will make a recommendation on quarantine protocols to the family based on the vaccination status and if the child or is symptomatic. Parents will be notified during all steps of the process.
Parents of the campers in the cabin where a positive case has been identified will also be updated on their own child’s health, along with how the situation is being monitored and managed. Additionally, we will contact trace, quarantine, and begin testing of those who came in close contact. Modified activities and “pod camp” will still take place safely for a group that is quarantining together. Once the group has cleared the current symptom-free quarantine required timeline, they will assimilate back into the larger camp community. It is possible that fully vaccinated campers and staff will not have to isolate or quarantine.
- Prior to camp: If a child tests positive prior to camp they would be unable to come to camp until they isolate for the required period of time, are symptom-free, and have been cleared by at-home and camp physicians.
- On arrival day: If a child tests rapid positive upon arrival at camp, they will isolate until we receive results from the second rapid test or arrival day PCR test. If the second test is positive, the child would need to be picked up within 24-36 hours. The child may return to camp once they isolate for the required period of time, are symptom-free, and have been cleared by at-home and camp physicians.
- During camp: If a child tests rapid positive at camp, we would follow the same protocols as above and await the second test results. After the camper is isolated and based on the second test results, our medical team will make a recommendation on quarantine protocols to the family based on the vaccination status and if the child or is symptomatic. Parents will be notified during all steps of the process.
There will be a Covid Mitigation/Testing Fee in place for all families per camper.
To ensure safe arrival at camp, and to limit any exposure after pre-camp quarantine and testing, we are asking families within a 3.5 hour driving distance (NY, NJ, CT, MA, RI) to drive their campers to camp this summer. We realize that in some limited cases this may not be possible and we are prepared to work with families who require additional assistance with transportation. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if this is the case.
Camp plans to provide regular transportation home from camp.
We would prefer all camper baggage to be delivered to camp at least three days prior to camper arrival. Our recommended baggage company is R&B Baggage. You may also consider UPS, FedEx, or like services. A note: campers will have their bags unpacked and their areas set up for them before arrival so we can jump into the long-awaited camp fun right away!
Unfortunately, this summer we WILL NOT be hosting an in-person Parents Visiting Day. You may cancel or postpone your Visiting Day plans until Summer 2022. Camp will be offering new and creative ways to stay connected with your camper this summer.
With regard to any out-of-camp trips, at this point in time, we are focusing our efforts on trips such as camping, hiking, rafting, mt. biking trips, etc. that can be done exclusively within our own community and do not require any third-party sleeping accommodations. We are also planning more frequent and never-before-seen exciting in camp Special Events to supplement trips that are unable to take place.
We are working closely with our staff members to assist them in getting Covid-19 vaccinations before camp starts. Our hope is that most, if not all, of our counselors and staff, will be vaccinated. However, out of an abundance of caution, we are proceeding with our plans as if that will not be the case.
Vaccines play a vital role in mitigating the spread of Covid as well as adding another layer of safety to our entire camp community. We hope that all who are eligible will consider getting vaccinated prior to arriving at camp. That said, we realize the decision to vaccinate is personal and it will not yet be required. Please note, there may be differences in how fully vaccinated versus unvaccinated campers move about camp and adhere to quarantine restrictions.
This will be the summer every camper deserves! We are planning some unbelievable in-camp programs, special events, and experiences for the campers to make this summer EXTRAORDINARY for them. Think of it as an exciting year to start camp, where the future summers can only get even better!