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Child and Youth Day Camp Guidelines

For general workplace guidelines, please refer to COVID-19 Workplace Information. All businesses operating in Saskatchewan must be in compliance with these guidelines. The information below provides specific guidelines for operators of child and youth day camps in Saskatchewan.

Day camps are permitted to open and must follow all requirements in the public health order and operate in compliance with all other applicable legislation and licensing requirements. Activities at the camps must align with the allowable services permitted within the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan. Overnight camps are not permitted.

All day camp services are limited to a maximum of 15 children per building space. This may mean 15 children per facility or, in the case of larger facilities where area permits, a facility reconfigured to allow a maximum of 15 children in one defined area. These areas must be separate for each group and need to be separated by a barrier (floor to ceiling barriers not necessary) that can prevent children, toys and other items from crossing over.

Groups of children and staff members assigned to them must stay together throughout the day and cannot mix with other groups. Staff should remain with the same group. Groups must be within in the same room/space at the same time, including pickups and drop-offs, meal times, playtime, outdoor activities, etc.

If a day camp is located within another facility (i.e. special care or personal care home), they are subject to all general restrictions for that facility and must ensure there is no interaction between children and staff/individuals in the other facility.

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1. Guidelines for General Operation

  • Staff and parents must encourage and practise physical distancing.
  • Staff should minimize the frequency of direct physical contact with children and encourage children to minimize physical contact with each other.
  • For younger children, maintaining physical distance is less practical and the focus should be on minimizing physical contact instead.
  • Help younger children learn about physical distancing and less physical contact by creating games that include basic principles such as two arms lengths apart.
  • Children from the same household (e.g. siblings) do not need to maintain physical distance from each other.
  • Avoid close greetings like hugs or handshakes, and encourage physically distant greetings such as 'air fives' and waves.
  • Day camps must consider the type of activity and the level of risk it presents.
  • Consider how to adapt activities to take place outdoors when possible.
  • Individual or group activities that have close, prolonged contact are higher risk. Measures should be taken to modify activities to minimize contact and allow for physical distancing whenever possible.
  • Full contact sports are not permitted at this time.
  • Plan for reduced contact activities such as shadow tag and, where possible, avoid activities that require clustering around a particular item or small area.
  • Singing is a high-risk activity because the virus can be transmitted through saliva or respiratory droplets. Therefore, singing is not recommended at this time.
  • Although not recommended, when singing, participants must wear masks.
  • The use of playgrounds and outdoor recreation space use should be limited to one group at a time. Ensure hand hygiene occurs for staff and children before, during and after outdoor play.
  • Consider the need to modify room configurations (e.g. separating tables) to promote physical distancing. Incorporate more individual activities or activities that encourage more space between children and staff.
  • Where possible, remove or reduce play with toys that encourage group play in close proximity or increase the likelihood of physical contact. Keep toys that encourage individual play.
  • Camp organizers should provide parents with a list of items that children need to bring with them. Parents and caregivers should avoid bringing any unnecessary items.
  • Children and staff should not share food, drinks, facecloths and other personal items. Label personal items with the child's name to discourage accidental sharing.
  • Where possible, operators and staff should communicate with parents electronically (e.g. phone, text, email).
  • Modify procedures for drop-off and pickup that support physical distancing and separate groups to the greatest extent possible. Possible strategies include separate group entrances, limit pickups and drop-offs to one parent/guardian, staggering entry or limiting the number of people in entry areas. Ensure parents are informed of all procedures.
  • Where possible, the pickup and drop-off of children may occur outside the facility, unless there is a need for the parent or caregiver to enter (e.g. very young children). If a parent must enter the facility, they should maintain physical distance from staff and other children and be reminded to practise diligent hand hygiene.
  • Parents and caregivers should use their own pens and avoid touching the sign-in/out sheet directly. They should practise hand hygiene before and after touching the sign-in/out sheet. Consider switching to a contactless or electronic sign-in/out method.
  • Parents picking up children from more than one group should not be allowed to intermingle with children in the groups.
  • Place alcohol-based hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN number) in dispensers or soap and water handwashing stations near doors for use by staff and parents. Make disinfectant wipes and trash bins available.
  • Children should be encouraged to wash hands with soap and water. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is not generally recommended for use by young children. If soap and water are unavailable and hand sanitizer is used, keep it out of children's reach and supervise its use.
  • Parents and caregivers must assess their child daily for symptoms of the common cold, influenza, COVID-19 or other infectious respiratory diseases before sending them to day camps.
  • Children who are ill are not permitted to attend. Staff can remind parents and guardians of this at drop-off to confirm that the child does not have symptoms of COVID-19. All parents, guardians, children and staff who are under mandatory self-isolation must not attend – stay home and self-isolate.
  • Signage may be used to remind parents and guardians not to enter the facility if they are sick and should be posted at facility entrances.
  • Checking temperatures, detailed screening or requiring COVID-19 testing are not required or recommended.
  • If a child develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19 while at the program, the child should be isolated from other children and the parent or guardian should pick up the child immediately. If a separate room is not available, the child needs to be kept at least two metres away from other children.
  • If the sick child requires close contact and care, staff can continue to care for the child until the parent arrives. Staff must wear a procedural/surgical mask and eye protection during all interactions with the child and should try to avoid contact with the child's respiratory secretions. Once the child has left, staff must wash their hands and ensure all areas that the sick child occupied are cleaned and disinfected.
  • All items used by the child while isolated should be cleaned and disinfected as soon as the child has been picked up. Items that cannot be cleaned and disinfected (e.g. paper, books, cardboard puzzles) should be removed from the program and stored in a sealed container for a minimum of three days.
  • Vehicles used by the day camp for transporting children should be cleaned and disinfected as per transportation guidance. Transportation should be limited to the transport of children to and from care. Recreational travel, such as field trips, is not permitted at this time.
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2. Guidelines for Employees

  • If staff are unable to maintain two-metre distancing from other staff, other measures should be used, such as self-monitoring of personal health, supervision by Infection Prevention and Control Officers or Occupational Health and Safety staff in the workplace, or implementing appropriate measures such as:
    • Staggering activities to limit the number of staff in a confined area during the same period.
    • Moving activities to another room, wherever possible.
    • Altering shift and break times to minimize the number of staff working in close quarters.
    • Wearing personal protective equipment.
  • Proper and frequent hand hygiene by staff and children is a vital component in preventing the transmission of illnesses. Ensure staff and children are practising proper hand hygiene and coughing/sneezing etiquette. Parents and staff can teach and reinforce these practices.
    • Hand hygiene stations should be set up at the entrance, so that children can clean their hands when they enter. If a sink with soap and water is not available, provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN number). Keep hand sanitizer out of the reach of children and supervise its use.
    • Incorporate additional hand hygiene opportunities into the daily schedule.
    • Ensure the facility is well stocked with handwashing supplies at all times, including soap, paper towels, waste bins and, where appropriate, Health Canada approved hand sanitizer.
    • Children regularly forget about proper handwashing. Staff and children should practise often, with staff modelling washing hands properly in a fun and relaxed way.
  • It is recommended that facilities review their employee illness policies to ensure staff are able to remain home when ill (as is required).
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3. Cleaning and Sanitation Guidelines

  • The COVID-19 virus can survive for several days on different surfaces and objects. Frequent cleaning and disinfection is important to prevent spread of the disease.
  • Maintain a cleaning schedule and ensure staff are adequately assigned and trained for additional cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection required for COVID-19 transmission mitigation.
  • Increase cleaning and disinfection of commonly contacted areas. Common touch areas include those accessed by children, parents and/or employees. Examples of common touch surfaces include table tops, light switches, telephones (including personal cell phones), door knobs, sink taps, toilet handles, kitchen counter tops, gates, hand rails, hand sanitizer bottles/dispensers, toys, sleep cots/mats and cribs.
  • Due to the increased amount of cleaning required during an outbreak situation, it is best practice to decrease the number of common use items available to children.
  • Indoor shared spaces and structures that cannot be cleaned and disinfected between groups should not be used. If play structures are to be used by more than one group, the structures can only be used by one group at a time and must be cleaned and disinfected before and after use by each group.
  • Ensure the disinfectant used in the facility is adequate for the elimination of viruses and is approved by Health Canada (DIN).
  • If meals or snacks are provided, any food contact surfaces must be sanitized as per the Provincial Public Eating Establishment Standards.
  • Ensure washrooms are cleaned and disinfected with increased frequency, always well stocked with liquid soap and paper towels, and that warm running water is available.
  • Garbage bins should be emptied frequently.
  • Wear disposable gloves when cleaning blood or body fluids (e.g. runny nose, vomit, stool, urine). Wash hands before wearing and after removing gloves.
  • Programs that utilize a space with other user groups (e.g. programs in museums, community centres) must ensure the space is cleaned and disinfected before and after using the space.
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4. Program Operator Guidelines

  • Close drinking fountains. Water bottle filling stations are acceptable if appropriately and frequently sanitized.
  • No self-serve or family-style meal service. There should be no common food items (e.g. salt and pepper shakers). Meals should be served in individual portions to each child by a designated staff member.
  • Utensils should be used to serve food items (not fingers).
  • If meals or snacks are provided, ensure all children have their own individual meals or snacks. Reusable utensils must be cleaned and sanitized after each use.
  • Food provided by the family should be stored with the child's belongings or, if refrigeration is required, should be kept in an area designated for the child's group and should not be handled by staff from other groups. Food from home must not be shared with other children.
  • Children are not allowed to participate in food preparation.
  • Where possible, children should practise physical distancing while eating. Consider staggering snack or meal times to allow spacing between children during meals.
  • Consider using books and individual games as a part of learning, so children can sit independently and distanced from each other.
  • Each group should have designated equipment (e.g. balls, loose equipment) or clean and disinfect equipment between group uses.
  • Establish a plan to prevent mingling of groups in washrooms, and to minimize the number of shared surfaces in washrooms.
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5. Personal Protective Equipment

  • Except when in close contact with a sick child, masks and eye protection are not required in the child care setting, beyond those used by staff as part of their regular precautions for hazards normally encountered in the workplace. They should only be used when all other controls have been fully explored.
  • Wear disposable gloves when cleaning blood or body fluids (e.g. runny nose, vomit, stool, urine). Gloves must be changed after every interaction and when changing tasks. Hand hygiene must be performed between every glove change (hand sanitizer or handwashing with soap and water).
  • Other than the above situations, glove use is not required nor recommended. 
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6. Further Information

For additional information, please call the Business Response Team at 1-844-800-8688 or email supportforbusiness@gov.sk.ca.

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