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New York releases new health, safety measures for child care, camp programs

According to the governor's office, some of the new measures include protocols for COVID testing, physical distancing and sanitation.

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York State released updated guidance Wednesday regarding health and safety measures at child care, day camp and overnight camp programs.

According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office, facilities and programs will be required to collect COVID-19 vaccination status and documentation for both staff and children. Daily health screenings of staff and visitors will be mandatory, including daily temperature checks.

If a child or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, facilities and programs must notify the state and local health department immediately.

In addition, each site will be required to implement "a property-specific capacity limitation for children and campers that ensures appropriate social distancing." The state notes that staff members who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 must socially distance from other unvaccinated staff.

Facilities also must provide and require the use of face coverings for those who are not fully vaccinated. Children and campers two years old or older who are not fully vaccinated will be required to wear face coverings at all times, except when eating, drinking, showering, swimming, sleeping or resting.

Other requirements will also be put in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

"We are continuing to make incredible progress against COVID and lifting restrictions based on the science and numbers, but we are not yet at the finished line," Governor Cuomo said. "To help ensure maximum protections for staff and children at child care and camp programs, we are issuing this guidance so the facilities can implement basic but critical measures that will allow them to operate safely."    

The New York State Department of Health says health metrics for child care facilities will be monitored and evaluated, adding that further guidance will be issued if deemed necessary.  

The new guidelines went into effect Wednesday.