2023 Covid-19 Guidelines at DYF Programs
In respect for your family’s health and safety, all DYF staff and volunteers will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and we encourage eligible participants to do the same. Our COVID-19 policies for 2023 programs will be made with current information from the CDC, state and local health authorities, and under the leadership of our Healthcare Professional Advisory Board. Specific guidelines and requirements will be tailored to each program and released at least 30 days prior to the program start date. Should you have any concerns about these guidelines once they are released and you no longer feel comfortable attending a DYF program, we will provide you with a full refund minus the $50 non-refundable deposit and the corresponding processing fee.
Vaccines are a critical tool for keeping you, and your child, safe. We strongly encourage everyone who attends our programs to be fully vaccinated, and boosted, prior to attending our programs this summer. This is important both for the protection of our participants, but it is also important for the protection of our community.
Camp is a congregate setting, and we know that infectious diseases are more likely to spread when many people gather together. We also know that gathering, getting together, and building community is a critical part of our health, and of managing diabetes. Therefore, we want to make sure that when we do gather, we do so safely.
COVID-19 Precautions and Expectations
People living with diabetes whose HbA1c is well controlled do not seem to be at particularly high risk of COVID related complications. However, there are many in our community whose blood sugars are often elevated, and these individuals are at particular risk for COVID complications. Moreover, many members of our community have other medical conditions which further raise the risk of complications associated with COVID infection. Widespread vaccination is important for their safety. We do not want camp, a place of special healing and extraordinary fun, to inadvertently become a place that makes our friends and families sick.
I acknowledge that there are many strong feelings about COVID, the response to the pandemic, and the rules and guidelines that have been developed and put in place as a result of this devastating infectious disease. Every single person I have spoken with about COVID (myself included) has found at least one aspect of this pandemic, and our response to it, frustrating if not infuriating. I further recognize that some people will feel the guidelines we have developed for our programs go too far, while others will feel they do not go far enough. Our goal, working in conjunction with the rest of our healthcare professionals and DYF staff, is to make camp a safe, fun, and joyous experience where we can learn about diabetes, create community, and build resiliency.
Justin Altschuler, MD
Medical Director, DYF
All camp participants, staff, volunteers and visitors will be required to be fully vaccinated according to the CDC requirements. At the time of writing, this does not include a “booster” dose. Proof of vaccination will be required before camp or upon entry to camp. If you have an exemption based on medical reasons, that will be honored, but personal belief exemptions will not be accepted.
17 Years & Younger
We encourage all campers and participants, regardless of age, to be fully vaccinated. This is both for the safety of the campers, but also for the safety of our community. However, we will not, at this time, require participants under age 18 to be vaccinated. California schools require multiple vaccines to attend school; we require these same vaccinations, and our vaccination policy has tracked the California requirements for childhood vaccination for years.. California does NOT require COVID vaccination to attend school. Moving forward, we anticipate that if/when California schools require COVID vaccination, we will update our requirements as well.
All program participants and volunteers will need a negative COVID-19 test within 24 hours of arrival at the program. This test can be a rapid antigen at-home test, or a PCR test. You will need to document these results, but the test does not need to be administered at a healthcare facility. If the cost of testing is a barrier for your family’s attendance please let us know and we will help.
Before Getting on the Bus
Included in your registration materials is a symptom checklist. Please complete this checklist with your child on the morning of the bus, and bring it with you. We will review this information prior to all children getting on the bus.
At the time of writing, we do not feel routine testing after arrival at camp will be necessary at any of our programs. We will have rapid tests available to test individuals who develop symptoms, and all testing of symptomatic individuals will be done in conjunction with our on-site medical staff. We anticipate testing any individual who develops symptoms at our program that are potentially consistent with COVID, but are hoping that the combination of pre-testing, symptom screening, and open air will prevent and/or minimize COVID cases at our programs.
All Staff Returning from Leave
All staff and volunteers returning from an extended leave (48 hours) will be tested immediately upon arrival at camp.
Wearing a mask at camp is optional. The only indoor space that is used daily by campers at Bearskin Meadow is the dining hall, and we anticipate campers will spend minimal time in the dining hall this summer. Most dining will be outdoors. At CDLN, more of the facility is indoors, including indoor sleeping arrangements, but we do not anticipate requiring indoor masks at CDLN.
If your child is traveling to camp by bus, masks will be required while on the bus. DYF will supply masks for the campers to use while traveling to and from camp on the bus.
At the time of writing, case counts are low, and our medical staff does not believe that broad mask requirements are required to keep campers, and our community, safe. As we have all learned, the COVID situation is subject to change, and if case counts increase, or new strains emerge, we may need to revise our expectations regarding masking and COVID risk mitigation at our programs.