By COLlive reporter
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that summer day camps in Western New York will be allowed to open beginning June 29, bringing an end to vacation season in limbo since the outbreak of the coronavirus.
During a briefing on Tuesday, Cuomo said the permission pertains to Western New York which enters Phase II of reopening today.
No decision has been made regarding the opening of sleep-away camps, he said, while New York City is on track to enter Phase I on June 8.
Bais Rivkah Day Camp in Crown Heights, which has already been preparing to launch a virtual camp for children at-home, says it will be working to prepare the Zoom option alongside a physical camp, in case permission is granted.
“We are working on both options until future notice,” camp director Mrs. Sara Blau told COLlive.com. “Our goal is to give the girls an incredible summer to the best of our abilities and working within the guidelines to be issued.”
“I’m delighted that Governor Cuomo recognizes the tremendous significance of this decision for so many New Yorkers,” said Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, “Summer camp provides an outlet for children and much needed break for their parents. Our young people have experienced both the trauma and the boredom of all these weeks of lockdown. They deserve to enjoy a safe summer filled with fun.”
After being the first public official to call for day camps and sleepaway camps to open, Eichenstein spent many weeks in consultation with Governor Cuomo’s staff and the NYS Health Department regarding the proper protocols for the upcoming camp season.
A comprehensive outline of strict guidelines and regulations was proposed by a team of medical professionals and camp directors that all camps will be obligated to comply. This camp season will certainly be somewhat different than usual but it will also be a wonderful experience for many youth in our state who crave a semblance of structure and educational and social interaction, while enjoying the summer months.
Eichenstein continued, “I would like to thank Governor Cuomo for making this happen. I appreciate the Governor’s willingness to work with us to come up with a commonsense functional solution. This decision illustrates that when we all work together for the common good, we can develop innovative and practical solutions to the many challenges that we face during this crisis. As we continue to work on the specific guidance, this is wonderful news and I look forward to continuing to work with the Governor’s staff to address the possibilities of opening sleepaway camps as well.”
Update: 2:50 PM
According the NY Health Department Website:
Long Island, Capital Region and Mid-Hudson Valley Regions have met all seven metrics required to begin phase one of the state’s regional phased reopening plan; Western New York, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Southern Tier can enter phase two.
The Capital Region is expected to enter phase two of reopening on June 3.
New York City will enter phase one of reopening on June 8.
Summer day camps statewide can open on June 29, and a decision on sleep-away camps will be made in the coming weeks.