GLEN COVE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Amid all the shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is one industry that’s gearing up to open.
It may seem far-fetched to imagine camps will be able to open this summer, but camp directors are moving forward with careful safety plans, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Wednesday.READ MORE: New York City Mayoral Candidates Eric Adams, Curtis Sliwa Meet For First Debate
For the Azizi family of Roslyn, the countdown to camp is on. The kids are counting the days, while camp directors are counting on New York to un-PAUSE by late June.
“They have said that they’re very positive the camp is gonna happen,” mother Alisha Azizi said.
“Camp directors are operating on the fact that they feel that there will be camp,” said Crestwood Country Day Camp owner Mark Transport, who heads a group of dozens of Long Island day camps.
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He said they fall into the essential business category as child care services, and are forging ahead with plans based on projections that infection rates will dramatically fall and antibody testing will be available in nine weeks.
“If we look at it through a lens of today, it doesn’t seem so conceivable that camp will be open, but two months from now will be a whole different story,” Transport said.
But he said he sees a mountain of challenges and expects guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We might be having to be use PPE for staff, maybe for children,” Transport said.Gov. Kathy Hochul Announces Green Energy Initiative In Upstate New York
Sleep-away camps pose different challenges. Jay Jacobs runs Timberlake and Tyler Hill in upstate New York.
“We are telling parents that we’re optimistic camp is going to open,” Jacobs said.
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International staff may not be able feasible, but college students and alums suddenly without work or internships are filling positions.
Camp staples like field trips and inter-camp competitions may have to go.
“If the numbers are low and the region is safe and people are able to interact, that will guide us as well, but we’ll always be erring on side of caution,” Jacobs said.
“People would say well it’s in our interest to open, but on the other hand we are not going to open if we don’t find a pathway to a safe environment,” Transport said.
For working parents like the Azizis, camp will enable them to go back to work, but there are concerns.
“Are they going to have visiting day? Are they gonna accept packages?” Alisha Azizi said. “I am nervous. I will need to know exactly how they will lay out the summer.”MORE NEWS: 2 Brooklyn Lawyers Plead Guilty In Molotov Cocktail Attack During 2020 Protests
What if you paid for camp and it can’t open? Directors say they will offer credits or refunds for summer 2021.