Connecticut summer camps may open in June

Summer camps may open next month with some strict public health guidelines to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Connecticut officials said Monday.

Beth Bye, the commissioner of the state Office of Early Childhood, made the announcement at a roundtable discussion of Gov. Ned Lamont's Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group that focused on education.

Camps will be allowed to open on June 29 with a limit of 30 campers per program, Bye said.

Larger camps that can demonstrate they have the space for more children can apply for a waiver from her office, she said.

Parents working on the front lines during the pandemic can receive a subsidy to cover up to three weeks of camp or other child care, Bye said.

National Guard troops set up medical equipment inside a college sports arena

A field hospital at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, Connecticut. (U.S. Air National Guard)

The advisory group's education subcommittee, which includes the state's top education officials, also discussed parameters for reopening schools in the fall. 

Those are expected to include smaller class sizes, fewer students on school buses, and the continuation of online learning for at-risk students, teachers and professors. 

The reopening likely will occur in phases and could look different in different parts of the state, officials said.

Some community college, vocational and other nonresidential programs, where students are spread out in work shops and laboratories, could be ready to accept students as early as next month, former Yale President Richard Levin said.

But Dr. Matthew Cartter, the state epidemiologist, cautioned the group that a second wave of the virus is possible in the fall and that plans need to be flexible.

More than 33,000 people in Connecticut have tested positive for the coronavirus, and nearly 3,000 had died as of Sunday. While deaths continue to increase, hospitalizations have been declining for two weeks.

The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.


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