Coronavirus and Your Camp

The “COVID-19” respiratory illness, caused by a new (or novel) coronavirus, has been making headlines worldwide as the outbreak impacts countries across the globe.

In the United States, the number of COVID-19 cases has been increasing, with some community spread, meaning infection of people who have had no known contact with travelers or others already with the disease.

How the virus will progress in the United States is not known at this time, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that widespread transmission within the U.S. is likely at some point. According to the CDC, it is not yet known whether warmer weather will lessen the spread of COVID-19, like it does for the common cold and conventional flu.

So, what can your camp do to prepare for these possibilities?

  1. Monitor

    Monitor the situation with COVID-19, which the CDC describes as “evolving rapidly.” Stay up to date with the latest information from reputable sources such as local or state public health departments, the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO).

  1. Plan

    Update your camp’s existing emergency operations plan to include planning for contagious diseases such as COVID-19. Common elements of such plans include:

    • Entrance and health screening practices for campers.

    • Practices to limit the spread of illness, including interventions such as social distancing, limiting face-to-face contact, enhanced cleaning measures and increased access to soap/water and hand sanitizer.

    • Planning for staff absences.

    • Response planning for campers who become ill, including isolation from the general population, symptomatic treatment and notification of health department if indicated.

    • Planning for the reduction, and even temporary suspension, of on-site operations.

    • Communication to key stakeholders including campers, staff and families.

    Sample planning resources are available from the CDC and the Association of Camp Nursing.

  1. Train

    Train your staff and volunteers on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Emphasize the importance of illness-reducing strategies. Teach staff to monitor campers and themselves for any influenza-like symptoms. Train staff on your emergency operations plan.

  1. Communicate

    Follow your plan to provide timely and accurate information to parents, families and staff so they know you are actively monitoring the situation and responding to it.

  1. Implement

    Follow the guidance of local or state departments of public health and other authorities as you implement your plan. Continue to monitor the situation and evolve your plan as the situation dictates.


We’re here to help! For additional questions, contact Church Mutual Insurance Company’s Risk Control Central.

The information contained in this article is intended solely to provide general guidance on topics that may be of interest to you. While we have made reasonable efforts to present accurate and reliable information, Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. disclaims all liability for any errors or omissions, or for any actions you take or fail to take based on this article. The information provided may not apply to your particular facts or circumstances; therefore, you should seek professional advice prior to relying on any information that may be found in this article.

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Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. (a stock insurer)
P.O. Box 357 | 3000 Schuster Lane | Merrill, WI 54452-0357
Telephone (800) 554-2642 or (715) 536-5577

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Church Mutual is a stock insurer whose policyholders are members of the parent mutual holding company formed on 1/1/20. S.I. = a stock insurer.