Focus turns to Long Island day camps after positive COVID-19 tests

On Friday, Park Shore Country Day Camp in Dix Hills confirmed that five counselors and one camper tested positive for COVID-19 this week, and at Camp Anchor in Lido Beach officials say a counselor and a camper tested positive as well.

“It’s not surprising that it did happen We have two responsibilities to do at camp,” said Mark Transport, President of the Long Island Camps and Private Schools Association. “One is to keep the virus out of camp and the other is to prevent the spread.”

Transport who is also one of the owners at Crestwood Country Day Camp in Melville says camps that opened this summer have followed rigorous protocol to prevent the spread of the virus and can be looked at by schools for ways to keep children safe this fall.

“I think camp has shown that school can be done responsibly with planning and commitment,” he said.

After speaking with doctors, parent Brooke Beller made the choice to send her 6-year-old daughter Harper to camp.

“She’s there with friends and said everything to her feels like camp,” Beller said.

Both camps say they’re actively monitoring the situation and emphasize the health and safety of campers and staff remains a priority. But not every parent feels as comfortable.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Battinelli with Northwell Health says he wouldn’t be surprised if there are more cases at camps before the end of summer. He says inside or out, you’re always safer with a mask on and practicing social distancing.

“People misinterpret the fact that we’re opening up with the fact that they think things are getting safer,” he said.

Dr. Battinnelli also says that coronavirus will be here for a while and the minute someone lets their guard down is when the disease will move into a community.

None of the COVID cases at the camps are said to be severe and both camps plan to open on Monday.

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