The City of Ottawa’s new framework for summer camps in the novel coronavirus era, unveiled Tuesday, will see smaller groups of kids and additional restrictions put in place to reduce the risk of infection.
The Ontario government announced Monday that it would allow some regions of the province, including Ottawa, to enter the second stage of reopening.
The phase-two rules would expand social gathering limits to 10 people and restore access to numerous personal services and outdoor recreational activities, but the Ford government said it would release specific details on summer camps in the days to come.
As such, the City of Ottawa’s plans are contingent on regulations allowing day camps.
The plan, developed in concert with Ottawa Public Health, will see programming start on July 6 with smaller groups of kids and additional staff to ensure physical distancing and sanitization requirements are followed.
Each group of eight campers will be supervised by two staff, with one permanent staff member available at each site for support.
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The city is projecting it will have 728 camp spots open to start, with the possibility of accommodating up to 1,365 campers if the province increases gathering limits.
But it’s not likely that everyone who wants a spot will get one: there were 4,219 campers originally signed up for Ottawa’s regular day camp programs, but those registrations were cancelled ahead of the new framework rollout.
Anyone who had a registration cancelled can save the credit on their account for a future booking or request a refund.
Staff and campers alike will need to be screened for the virus before participating in the new camp program.
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Staff will also wear masks when physical distancing isn’t possible, and campers are recommended to do the same.
This year, camps will not feature field trips, swimming or skating, and nor will any guest speakers or entertainers be invited.
Camps will be open for kids aged four until 12, which will allow siblings to register in the same program.
Registration for the city’s new summer camp program will be available online only, starting Monday, June 15 at 9 p.m.
A full list of sites offering day camps this summer, as well as a list of frequently asked questions, is available here.
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