ORLANDO, Fla. – June 1 marks the first day of summer camp for hundreds of kids in Orlando and Orange County. Although several camps across Central Florida have been canceled due to COVID-19, there are 18 public facilities now operating under strict health and safety measures.
"You could tell they were very excited but they were also very timid and not sure what to expect," Alexandra Temes, the center manager for Englewood Neighborhood Center in Orlando said about the kids' first day of summer camp.
Each facility is taking steps to ensure the safety of both the students and staff. Prior to entering the building, every child and staff member will have their temperature checked and be asked four health screening questions. Every staff member and adult entering the facility will also need to keep a mouth covering on at all times while inside the buildings.
“We do have to look at each activity on a one-on-one basis to see how we can modify what works and what doesn’t work,” Temes said.
Modifications have also been made to keep kids safe while working inside the classrooms.
"For example, every child has their own table about an 8-foot table that keeps them apart from each other with their own supplies on the table. Every child has their own water bottle so they don't have to go to the water fountain," Temes said.
Each center will have up to nine students in every classroom, and the sanitizing of surfaces will take place every 30 minutes.
"All the skills that they're learning here at the centers during the summer camp is going to help them adapt in the world now where we have to be socially distanced and practice safety measures," Temes said.
Temes said making sure the kid’s hygiene during game time is just as important as when they’re learning.
"Prior to the game, every child washes their hands, they play the game, after the game every child washes their hands and all the equipment is sanitized," she said.
In order for the students to be aware about social distancing guidelines, markers were placed outside the restrooms so they know to stand 6 feet apart from each other during their bathroom breaks.
“We’ve adjusted the stickers on the ground and that works much better; they know they go to their spot and they stand on it,” Temes said. “It’s a lot of reminding, a lot of repetition but we do strongly feel that within a couple weeks they’ll know what to do it’ll become a new routine for them.”