CONCORD, NH (AP) – Given the declining number of coronaviruses and fewer hospital stays in New Hampshire, the governor’s task force, reopening Thursday, looked to the summer and recommended updated guidelines for camp operators, including keeping children in small groups and better preparation for arrivals and pickups.
Governor Chris Sununu should approve the task force’s recommendations, which include lifting some restrictions on restaurants and bars on the use of pool and pool tables, dartboards and karaoke. The group also plans to add new members from industries that have been particularly hard hit, such as the performing arts and outdoor entertainment, as well as the wedding industry.
With regard to camps, employees working in overnight camps would be quarantined on site for 10 days. Campers present from outside New England would self-quarantine at home or in New Hampshire before arriving at camp. Staff and children would have COVID-19 tests seven days before they arrive when they arrive at the camp and then about five to seven days later. The wearing of masks, social distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting still apply. The guidelines are based on other residential environments such as universities.
Children in overnight and day camps are in groups of no more than 20 people. These groups in the overnight camps may have more flexibility to remove their masks when in their cubicles. Day camps should avoid field trips to limit the risk.
“It is time to look into how we can get children and families into the kind of activities and care they need, especially if we focus on the summer,” said Patricia Tilley, assistant director of the state’s public health services department. She thanked the camp operators for their recommendations, many of which were included.
Only four of the state’s 95 overnight summer camps opened last summer because of the coronavirus pandemic. The New Hampshire summer camping industry employs more than 300 full-time employees year round. Before the pandemic, nearly 100,000 children took part every summer.
For other coronavirus-related developments in New Hampshire:
US Representatives Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas say New Hampshire state, local and regional authorities are expected to receive around $ 1.5 billion in federal funding for the coronavirus aid package.
Of that amount, $ 966 million would be earmarked for the state and $ 559 million would be used for counties, cities and towns, officials said in a statement Wednesday.
“This funding is not a complete solution, but it is a huge step forward to ensure that no one is left behind as we continue to address this public health crisis,” said Kuster. “Now is the time to get this legislation over the finish line as soon as possible.”
Pappas said, “Without direct, flexible support, our state and local governments will be less prepared for the difficult months ahead and may be forced to cut critical services, lay off workers or raise taxes. All of these options will harm Granite Staters and slow our response to the pandemic. “
The total house package is expected to include $ 350 billion for state and local governments across the country.
Republicans attack the Democrats’ $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package as being too costly, economically harmful and openly partisan.
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