Day Camp Guidance
While day camps are primarily held for children, this guideline also applies to similar day programs for youth and adults with disabilities. All day camp operators must develop an operational plan. It may be submitted to the Environmental Health Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) for review, although this is not a requirement before opening. The plan will need to be made available during inspections by a public health official.
Day Camp Activities
The risk of transmission of COVID-19 increases the closer you come to other people, the amount of time you spend near them, and the number of people you are around. The risk of surface transmission increases when several people contact the same contaminated surface (e.g. door handles shared toys) in a short period of time.
With any day camp program or organized day camp activity, the consideration must be given to the type of activity and the spectrum of risk. Activities with less potential for physical contact are presumed to carry less risk, whereas activities with more potential for physical contact are presumed to carry more risk. Indoor activities may pose a greater risk than outdoor activities.
Examples of activities with low, moderate, and high potential for physical contact include, but are not limited to:
Level of Contact
Sport or Activity
Low potential, brief contact
Music (except singing)1
Theatre (except singing)1
Any solo activity
Moderate potential, brief contact
Sports permitted with modifications
High potential, frequent contact
Sports permitted with modifications
Hockey without checking
Sports NOT permitted2
Hockey with checking
1 There is evidence that singing can project respiratory droplets much further than other activities. Singing is permitted provided singers/vocalists are a minimum of 3.5 metres (12 feet) apart from each other and everyone else.
2 Full-contact sports and activities may be permitted with extensive modifications – for example, drills and forms related to martial arts and boxing may be performed, but sparring is not permitted except between members of the same household.
Core operational measures
required by all businesses, services, and organizations:
- Develop an operational plan detailing methods to mitigate transmission of disease.
- Take every reasonable step to ensure physical distancing (including employees and/or clients) of two metres (six feet) between each other.
- Develop and follow an exclusion policy to prevent employees who are required to self-isolate from entering the workplace.
- Develop and follow an exclusion policy that ensures symptomatic employees are immediately excluded from work activities.
- Ensure enhanced cleaning and disinfection of shared areas and surfaces.
- Ensure hand washing stations or hand sanitizing products are available and accessible to all employees.
Required public health measures
- The maximum capacity permitted shall not exceed 50 people (staff and clients), both indoor or outdoor. The organized gatherings guidance must be followed.
- If there will be more than one group/gathering at one time at a facility (indoor or outdoor), Multiple Gatherings Guidance must be followed.
- Operations must keep daily records of all clients and staff participating in their program. This can be done with a responsible person completing attendance on site or electronically with verification on site. Records including the names and phone number should be kept for one month to facilitate contact tracing in the event of an outbreak. Operations should have an internal process in place to quickly retrieve these records, should the records be needed, even on weekends. These records should be stored in a safe, secure location for one month after creation of the records and then disposed of using a secure destruction method to maintain the confidentiality of participants. For paper records, secure destruction means, at minimum, cross-cut shredding.
- Where possible, physical distancing of two metres (six feet) should occur. This requirement also applies to staff members.
- Any client, employee or parent experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should not be permitted to enter a day camp facility. See Screening Questionnaire below for screening procedures.
- If a client develops symptoms while at a day camp, the client is to be isolated and monitored in a separate room or area away from other clients. The parent or guardian is to be notified to pick up the client immediately.
- If the client requires close contact and care, staff members can continue to care for the child until the parent or guardian arrives. Staff members should be mindful of handwashing and avoid contact with the respiratory secretions of the client.
- All items, bedding, toys etc. used by the client that day must be removed from the play area and sanitized, or sanitized in place.
- Notify the Chief Public Health Office promptly of unusual situations, such as when absenteeism of children/youth or staff is greater than would be expected, or when severe illness is observed.
Cleaning and hygiene
- Promote the use of personal hygiene practices (e.g. frequent hand hygiene, avoid touching face, respiratory etiquette).
- Post signage that is appropriate for age, ability, reading level, and language preferences to remind individuals to practice good hygiene.
- Teach children and youth how to clean hands and cover coughs and sneezes and keep personal spaces tidy (i.e. desks, lockers).
- Adhere to the following handwashing guidelines:
- Rinse visible dirt from hands with warm water.
- Lather hands with liquid soap and warm water; rub vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Pay particular attention to under nails, between fingers, tops of hands and wrists.
- Rinse with running water.
- Dry with a single-use paper towel in a dispenser, air dryer, or hand towel (single-use before being laundered).
- Implement a schedule for frequent hand hygiene. It is essential that staff and clients properly wash their hands:
- At the start of the day and before going home;
- Before and after outdoor activities;
- After using the washroom;
- After assisting a client who has used the washroom;
- After a diaper change;
- Before preparing and/or serving food;
- Before and after eating or feeding a client;
- After getting hands dirty;
- After wiping or blowing your nose or a client’s nose;
- After sneezing or coughing;
- Before giving medication to a client;
- After caring for a sick client;
- After cleaning (specific to staff members); and
- After any other activity which may contaminate the hands.
- Staff members should help young children and other clients as applicable to ensure handwashing is done correctly. Alcohol-based sanitizer is not recommended for routine use in child care, but may be made available if necessary. Hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% - 80% alcohol.
- Surfaces (i.e. floors, tables, toys, countertops, etc.) should be smooth, non-absorbent, durable and easily cleaned. Day camp operators must engage in frequent cleaning and disinfecting each day, including high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, telephones (including personal cell phones), sink taps, toilet handles, hand rails, balls and other shared sporting equipment, etc.
- Clean and disinfect washrooms more frequently, and limit the number of users of a washroom at any given time (if a washroom can accommodate multiple users).
- See Appendix B: How to Clean and Disinfect, for information on proper cleaning and disinfecting procedures.
- Print and post signage outlining policies and procedures such as:
- Physical distancing expectations,
- Hand hygiene,
- Respiratory etiquette (coughing and sneezing), and
- Cleaning and disinfection practices and expectations.
- Print and post signage to notify individuals that they should not attend if they have symptoms of COVID-19.
Measures for organized recreational activities and team sports at day camps
- Follow Organized Recreational Activities and Team Sports Guidance, as appropriate.
- Physical distancing is to be maintained as much as possible, except for brief exchanges where it cannot be avoided.
- Activities with moderate and high potential for contact require modifications to promote physical distancing and prevent exposure to respiratory droplets.
- Full-contact activities (e.g. martial arts, boxing, wrestling, touch and tackle football, hockey with checking, and rugby) are not permitted, except with extensive modifications (for example, drills and forms only, without sparring).
- Activities that include cheering, whistling, singing, and other vigorous vocalization should be minimized as much as possible to reduce the transmission of respiratory droplets. Singing is permitted provided singers/vocalists are a minimum of 3.5 metres (12 feet) apart from each other and everyone else.
- Individuals may share equipment (i.e. soccer balls, baseballs, gymnastics equipment, etc.) among individuals from different households when necessary and with precautions.
- Clean and disinfect shared equipment frequently. Depending on the activity, this might be after each player’s use or at specified break times.
The screening questionnaire is provided as a resource to day camp operators who wish to perform screening of staff and clients before entering a facility.
1. Does your child, or anyone in your household, have any of the following symptoms (indicate Yes or NO for each symptom listed below):
- New or worsening cough
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Runny nose, sneezing, congestion
- Muscle aches
- Unusual fatigue
- Acute loss of sense of smell or taste
- Other: (includes symptoms not listed above)
2. Is there anyone in your home that is required to self-isolate?
3. Have you, or anyone in your household, been in contact in the last 14 days with a person under investigation or confirmed to be a case of COVID-19?
|If you have answered YES to any of the above questions, DO NOT enter at this time.|
|If you have answered NO to all of the above questions, please sign in and out and practice hand hygiene (wash hands for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer) before and after your visit.|
|Name of screened individual:|
|Name of parent / guardian (if applicable):|
|Name of staff member:|
|Signature of staff member: Date:|
How to Clean and Disinfect
There are four steps to properly clean and sanitize an object or surface:
- Wash: remove all visible dirt with warm soap and water.
- Rinse: rinse to remove any dirt and soap on the object.
- Disinfect: either soak smaller items or wipe larger items/surfaces with an approved sanitizer/disinfectant. The disinfectant must remain on the item/surface according to the manufacturer’s instructions to allow it to destroy any harmful microbes present.
- Dry: items should be air dried only. This is to avoid possible recontamination from using a reusable towel and to increase the contact time for the disinfectant. If an item cannot be air dried, use a clean, single-use paper towel.
|Area to sanitize||Dilution (mixture of sanitizer)|
|Household bleach||Quaternary ammonia|
|Kitchen, food contact surfaces, and toys||100 ppm1||200 ppm2|
|Washrooms, diaper change areas, cots, mats and furniture||200 ppm2||400 ppm3|
|Surfaces contaminated with blood or bodily fluids||1:10 solution4||1:10 solution4|
- Use potable water.
- Always pour the chemical into the water.
- Do not use clear bottles for bleach solutions as the sunlight will weaken the strength quickly.
- Always use the appropriate test strips to verify the concentration of the sanitizer.
- Label all containers.
- Prepare sanitizer as often as necessary to ensure the sanitizer is available at the appropriate strength.
- Store solutions in an area not accessible to children.