NEW JERSEY — While guidance is still forthcoming, municipal and private swimming pools can at least take solace in the fact they can reopen June 22. 

“[In addition] summer camps will be able to use their pools when they reopen on July 6,” Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday during his daily coronavirus press briefing in Trenton.

Further guidance on pools is expected by Tuesday, the governor said. Their reopening checks another box in Stage 2 of the state’s recovery plan — which has already ticked off outdoor dining (beginning June 15), limited in-person retail (June 15), and hair salons and barbershops (June 22).

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Murphy said an update on indoor gatherings should be available this week, as he understands houses of worship have been awaiting the ability to congregate. 

Stage 2 will also include in-person clinical research, labs, limited fitness/gyms, museums, libraries, and limited in-person government services — although the NJ Motor Vehicles Commission (MVC) has already received the green light.

When youth summer programs open in July, they will have to follow a set of regulations. 

“The guidelines set parameters on appropriate social distancing, face coverings and other hygiene practices, staggered arrivals and dismissals, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection,” said State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli.

Persichilli emphasized that all youth camps, including municipal day camps, are required to submit a “youth camp attention” form no later than 24 hours prior to opening. The form acknowledges that the camps have COVID-19 policies and procedures in place.

“We cannot let our guard down,” Persichilli said.

Some of the rules (additional details of which will be provided on the state website) include: 

  • Face coverings should be worn when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Campers and staff will be screened for fever and signs of COVID-19 prior to being permitted into the facility or participate in camp programming/
  • Anyone with a fever or other sign of illness must not be admitted to camp.
  • Campers and staff members should be educated on steps to prevent the steps of COVID-19. 
  • Groups should include the same children each day, and the same staff member if possible.
  • Mixing between the above groups should be restricted.
  • Camps should avoid communal dining and stagger meal times to ensure social distancing of groups. 
  • Surfaces must be cleaned and sanitized between each meal service.
  • Staff is encouraged to wear cloth masks while working unless doing so would interfere with individuals health or if an individual is outside in extreme heat, or if the individual is in the water.
  • Face coverings should be worn by campers, with children under the age 2 being the exception.
  • Camps are prohibited from activities engaging in full-contact sports, and offsite events.
  • Numerous soap and hand sanitizer stations should be provided.
  • Gloves should be worn when serving food. 
  • Social distancing is encouraged during busing to and from camp.
  • Vehicles should be clean and disinfected between use.

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