Summer camps to reopen in San Francisco, Marin County with restrictions amid COVID-19

Sunday, May 24, 2020
SF, Marin Co. summer camps to reopen next month amid COVID-19
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San Francisco and Marin County gave day camps the green light to open on Friday, with stricter restrictions and guidelines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- On Friday, Marin County and San Francisco gave day camps the green light to open. But, that doesn't mean every kid will get to be a camper.

Marin County will allow summer camps to open on June 1. San Francisco says programs can start on June 15.

To minimize co-mingling and exposure risk at both public and private camps, Marin and San Francisco will limit group sizes to "pods" of 12 children, and camp sessions must be at least three weeks to keep the same group of kids together.

"Were balancing risks here. We're not saying that this is necessarily risk free," said Dr. Matt Willis, the Marin County Public Health Officer.

RELATED: Parents angry with Camp Galileo for refusal to refund fees despite cancellation of summer camps

The new opening guidelines could mean that not everyone will get to go to camp. Camp capacity is getting crushed by limiting the group size to 12 kids.

Chuck Collins is CEO of YMCA San Francisco, which during a non-pandemic summer, runs camps for 2,000 to 3,000 children in Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties.

"We will have probably a tenth of that. We're hoping we'll have spaces for 200 to 300. Already over 500 families have requested camping for their kids. So how will we make those choices?"

YMCA will focus on the helping the most vulnerable families and students this summer, at YMCA facilities and recreation and park spaces.

RELATED: Wash hands 100 times a day: Bay Area child care providers face severe problems as they reopen amid COVID-19 crisis

San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced Friday that summer camps and programs for children will reopen June 15, but not without new health guidelines because of COVID-19.

There will be more than 200 camps available to kids this summer and camp operators will be required to certify that they are following the health guidelines.

Camps will have to be at least three weeks long in order to keep kids together in consistent "pods."

Kids will have to stay in "pods" of 12, the mayor said.

Priority registration for summer camps begins May 26. Families who are already in the city's emergency child care program qualify for priority registration.

RELATED: Reopening San Francisco businesses will depend on COVID-19 hospitalizations, health director says

Another round of registration opens up on June 6.

Breed announced this change during a press conference Friday.

For more information on the summer programs opening up in San Francisco, click here.

San Francisco began to reopen earlier this week with stores opening for curbside pickup on Monday.

The mayor seemed to indicate earlier in the week that the city's first day of retail pickup went off without a hitch.

"I stopped by Green Apple bookstore in the Inner Sunset," she said. "I was so happy to buy a book, I just didn't know what to do with myself. It felt good to go out to the community and to support this incredible institution."

LIFE AFTER COVID-19: Here's what stores, restaurants, gyms, schools, sports will look like when they reopen

Breed encouraged San Franciscans to shop local as much as possible.

"Rather than making that next purchase on Amazon, maybe consider finding a place in your community and trying to shop at the local stores that may have availability for pickup and delivery," said Mayor Breed.

Breed also applauded the Great Plates Delivered program, which delivers three meals a day from local restaurants to seniors. (More on the program here.)

The mayor and San Francisco Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax gave an update on the city's response to the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, saying they are closely monitoring five indicators that will impact how the city will progress in easing shelter-in-place restrictions:

  • Confirmed positive cases
  • Hospital capacity (the city is at 6 percent right now for COVID-19 cases and officials do not want to see a rate of 20 percent or higher)
  • Testing (the city is conducting 1,000 a day and officials are looking to increase that to 1,800 a day)
  • Increased contact tracing
  • Personal protective equipment

Right now, San Francisco is in Phase 2A, Dr. Grant gave an estimate that it could take two to four weeks to enter Phase 2B, but clarified that restrictions could be varied based off the five indicators. Phase 2B would adapt retail to open for indoor services, reopen schools, offices and childcare.

Dr. Colfax said it would take at least a month to enter Phase 3, but again stressed that it would be contingent upon the data from the indicators.

Breed said Friday that hospitalizations are going down in San Francisco.

In Gov. Newsom's afternoon briefing on Monday, he hinted even more reopenings would be allowed at the state level shortly. Professional sports, hair salons, churches may reopen as early as the first week of June.

RELATED: Everything we know about CA businesses opening and what comes next

"I'm hopeful, but I want to be clear that we are although coordinating with the governor's office, we have to use the data locally here in San Francisco to make a determination as to whether or not we can move into any of those phases," Breed said in an interview with ABC7 News.

When asked if the city could see the same prediction of reopening salons, churches, perhaps even sports games in a few weeks, the mayor said it wasn't likely.

RELATED: Here's what it will take to reopen the Bay Area

"The likelihood we would get there sooner rather than later is contingent on all of our behaviors," Breed said. "So, I don't think we're going to be there as of June first, but it's looking better than it's looked in some time, so I'm hopeful about the future."

Breed said the city is more likely to transition to Phase 2B in two to four weeks instead.

Earlier on Monday, Mayor London Breed announced three new testing sites that will open in underserved areas of San Francisco.

"These new testing sites help make testing more convenient and accessible for San Franciscans, especially people who are most at-risk and communities that have been hardest hit by the virus," said Mayor Breed. "As we continue toward universal testing, it's critical that we focus on reaching communities that have historically been underserved and that don't have as many testing resources available to them."

RELATED: Pro sports, hair salons, churches may reopen in next few weeks, Newsom says

A mobile testing site began offering walk-through COVID-19 testing in the Tenderloin on Wednesday, May 20. It is initially operating at the Tenderloin Recreational Center, after which it will move to another high-need neighborhood.

A second COVID-19 testing site will open Monday at the City College Student Health Center. It will be open to any California resident.

A third testing site will be in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood. The Bayview Child Health Center, the city and partner organizations will be bringing testing directly to families in their neighborhood from Wednesday, May 20, through Friday, May 22, and continuing every Friday thereafter for the foreseeable future.

See more details about these new testing sites here.

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