As usual, North Shore Day Camp readied its swimming pool, gymnastics course and arts and crafts supplies prior to welcoming its first busload of campers. However, this year’s preparations also included a day of drive-up Point of Care COVID-19 testing for campers conducted in partnership with Mobile Health.
Parents of campers could opt in to the Point of Care COVID-19 testing, part of North Shore’s comprehensive strategy for keeping campers and staff safe from infection this summer.
“We felt it important to start the summer in this manner, free and clean and COVID-free,” explained Todd Robbins, director of facilities for the Long Island, New York day camp. “There will always be concerns, but if families continue to take the same precautions, and if luck is on our side, we will remain COVID-free.”
The day camps’ COVID-19 testing exceeded New York guidelines for day camp operations, which advocate daily health screenings of campers and staff as well as smaller groups, staggered mealtimes, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, among other protocols.
‘A Tickle in the Nose’
Robbins estimated Mobile Health tested nearly 400 campers from North Shore and two sister day camps operated by parent company TLC. Five Mobile Health medical staff conducted the Quidel Sophia SARS Antigen FIA tests, which use a short nasal swab. The technicians approached each car to collect samples from campers’ noses, with results available a few hours later.
The campers, who range from toddlers to teens, did just fine with the short swab testing, Robbins said, likening the test to “a tickle in the nose.”
TLC chose Mobile Health’s rapid diagnostic testing solution for its convenience to camper families, minimally invasive technique, rapid results, and cost-effectiveness, Robbins explained.
TLC also tested day camp staff prior to opening, he added, and camp nurses will conduct daily temperature checks of campers and staff. Additionally, campers’ parents pledge to monitor their children for any signs of infection, and staff must attest daily they have followed the camp’s safety guidelines, he said.
One Thing Won’t Change
North Shore forged ahead with planning long before New York allowed day camps to reopen, Robbins said. Prepping for a summer unlike any other also resulted in a great deal of parent communications, he added, as well as other COVID-19 workarounds. For example, the camp will close on rainy days to avoid close confinement of campers.
And though operationally, camp looks a little different this year, Robbins expects most changes will be transparent to the campers, who will enjoy the quintessential day camp experience. “Camp is fun,” he said. “That won’t change. And this year, getting out of the house is fun.”
Options for COVID-19 Screening and Testing
Mobile Health customizes its onsite COVID-19 temperature screening and testing solutions to meet the needs of any office or work site, including hotels, construction sites, and more. Additionally, the longtime provider of occupational health offers PCR swab tests and antibody testing at its seven Mobile Health clinics around New York and Long Island.