Keeping Camp Safer - Our Response to COVID-19
Safety is our top priority. Hip Wah is committed to following State and Alameda County Health Department guidelines to run the 2022 summer program in a manner that minimizes risk for our staff, aides, and campers.
Hip Wah will continue to monitor guidelines and will develop protocols based on youth program requirements established by the county. We will also utilize protocols established by our host location which has conducted in-person classes in both the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years.
June 26, 2022 update:
While Alameda County has removed the indoor mask mandate, the Hip Wah board has determined all campers, aides, staff, and anyone coming onto campus will continue to be be required to wear well-fitting masks while indoors (we encourage KN95 or a surgical mask). Masks will also be required on field trips, including while in private cars or public transit. Masks will be highly encouraged, but not required, outdoors.
June 6, 2022 update:
This following information was emailed to our Hip Wah families covering:
2. Pre-camp COVID testing
3. Reporting a confirmed positive test and exposure notification
As well as serving as a reminder on:
1. Vaccination and Boosters
2. Isolation and Quarantine
First and foremost, if your camper is feeling ill or is displaying symptoms, please do not send your child to camp. Commonly reported symptoms related to the current variant include: sore throat, runny nose, cough, fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, and shortness of breath.
We continue to monitor county and state health guidelines, as well as recent practices adopted by schools to complete their final weeks of classes. The following Hip Wah requirements have been established after careful thought and discussion on the best way to reduce the risk of experiencing staffing shortages or having our campers miss out on our 4 weeks together.
Alameda County has reinstated its indoor mask mandate. All campers, aides, staff, and anyone coming onto campus will be required to wear well-fitting masks while indoors (we encourage KN95 or a surgical mask). Masks will also be required on field trips, including while in private cars or public transit. Masks will be highly encouraged, but not required, outdoors.
Pre-camp COVID testing
We ask all families to give their camper a rapid antigen test on June 18th or 19th; you will not need to supply evidence of the test. However, there may be certain circumstances where you will be asked to show evidence of a negative antigen test for your camper. For these reasons, you are asked to have a supply of COVID-19 antigen tests readily available. Free tests may be ordered through the government at https://www.covid.gov/tests, and if you purchase an FDA-approved COVID-19 antigen test, you may be eligible for a reimbursement through your medical insurance provider. Hip Wah will not administer COVID-19 tests, nor will Hip Wah have tests on hand for campers.
Reporting a confirmed positive test and exposure notification
If your camper tests positive for COVID in the 10 days leading up to or during the Hip Wah Summer Program period, please inform us, and we will connect with you with any further questions.
A close contact is generally someone who has been within 6 feet, for at least 15 minutes over a 24-hour period, to a person who is positive for COVID. If we learn of a positive COVID case in our Hip Wah Summer Program community, we will identify those who have been in close contact and send an exposure notification email to the family of those individuals or the class.
Exposure notifications will be sent by us. If you receive an exposure notification email for your camper, you should then follow the instructions below under Isolation and Quarantine.
Hip Wah will also inform the Alameda County Public Health Department if we experience 3 or more positive cases within 14 days (https://covid-19.acgov.org/schools#camps).
Vaccines and Boosters
All campers over the age of 11, aides, and staff are required to be vaccinated and boosted, if eligible, prior to the start of camp. As the booster for children ages 5-11 was only made available recently, we have modified our policy to make the booster very strongly recommended for this age group. Boosters are available at local drug stores and through your pediatrician. To be allowed onto campus on Monday, June 20th , you must upload your camper’s vaccine evidence by Friday, June 17th.
Isolation and Quarantine Requirements
You may already be familiar with the isolation and quarantine requirements through your school. Some of the highlights from the Alameda County Public Health Department (https://covid-19.acgov.org/isolation-quarantine.page) include:
- Home isolation: If your camper tests positive for COVID, your camper may not be at Hip Wah until at least 5 calendar days after the day of the positive test ("Day 0"). Home isolation can end after Day 5 if symptoms are not present, AND a rapid antigen test result shows negative (you will need to provide evidence of this result).
o If symptoms are not resolving by Day 5, continue to isolate up to Day 10.
o Regardless of the day on which the camper is released from home isolation, a well-fitting mask must be worn by the camper, indoors AND outdoors, for the 10-day period following the positive test.
- Quarantining: If your camper was in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID, AND a rapid antigen test result shows negative, your camper can continue to come to Hip Wah by wearing a well-fitting mask, indoors AND outdoors, for the 10-day period following the exposure. Quarantining is not expected to be necessary since Hip Wah is requiring all campers, aides, and staff to be vaccinated.
o Even if your camper is asymptomatic, test your camper again on Day 5 following the exposure. If a rapid antigen test result shows positive, home isolation must be observed, and the day of the positive result counts as Day 0 of the home isolation period.
o If your camper develops symptoms, test again to determine if home isolation must be observed.
May 13, 2022 update:
We want to remind the Hip Wah community that we believe the most important layer of protection against severe symptoms of COVID-19 is the vaccine. As stated in Hip Wah's response to COVID-19 (https://www.hipwahsummerprogram.org/keeping-camp-safer-our-covid-19-res), all campers and staff are required to be vaccinated and boosted, if eligible, prior to the start of camp. Please plan for the vaccine and booster accordingly and be prepared to show evidence, if requested.
We also recommend that every family have in-home COVID-19 antigen tests available before the start of camp. Free tests may be ordered through the government at https://www.covid.gov/tests, and if you purchase an FDA-approved COVID-19 antigen test, you may be eligible for a reimbursement through your medical insurance provider. In the event a close contact of your child(ren) tests positive, we may require that your child(ren) show evidence of a negative antigen test before being allowed onto campus. Hip Wah will not be administering COVID-19 tests, nor will Hip Wah have tests on hand.
We expect masks will be required in both indoor and outdoor settings if your child has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive in the past 10 days. We expect to make a final determination on any other requirements regarding masking or pre-camp COVID-19 testing by June 6, 2022, and we will communicate with you.
Our goal is to keep the Hip Wah Summer Program enjoyable and safe, and we do not want to experience staffing shortages or have our campers miss out on our 4 weeks together.
April 4, 2022 update:
As you may know, many school districts no longer require outdoor masking, and many, if not all, are removing the indoor masking requirement. Masking remains "strongly recommended" at this time. While we do not yet know the guidelines that will be in place in June, we anticipate Hip Wah may observe the following:
- Outdoor masking is optional
- Indoor masking is optional
- Masking required in field trip carpools, while on public transit for field trips, while indoors in large group settings (i.e., the Music Festival), or where recommended or required by our field trip host site
We expect to make a final determination by June 6, 2022 and will communicate with you. We acknowledge that these months ahead will be a period of transition for our families and staff. While masking may be optional in some settings during our summer program, we understand an individual camper or staff member may have personal, family, or other reasons to continue masking, and we respect and honor their decision to do so.
We also want to remind the Hip Wah community that we believe the most important layer of protection against COVID-19 is the vaccination. As stated below, all campers and staff are required to be vaccinated and boosted, if eligible, prior to the start of camp. Please be sure to plan for the vaccination and booster accordingly.
Please check our website regularly as we will modify plans as guidelines evolve. At present, Hip Wah has the following plans:
Hip Wah runs a single 4-week camp session each summer. No campers will be added during the 4-week session.
Hip Wah plans to return to its normal size for each camp class (e.g., age group). Depending on the age group, camp class size typically ranges from 14 to 22 campers, plus 2 aides.
We plan to reinstate field trips in 2022. We are planning to host an orientation, open house, and music festival in 2022.
Before and after camp Extended Care, as well as afternoon enrichment classes, will be available.
Physical distancing is not currently a requirement, though will be observed when reasonable. We will hold more sessions outdoors, when possible.
Lunch and snacks will be eaten outdoors. Hip Wah plans to offer lunches. Lunch will not be individually packed (as they were for 2021); Hip Wah will reinstate ordering lunch from a couple of local restaurants and having lunch plated by camp aides.
Campers, aides, and staff will practice frequent handwashing and hand sanitizing (e.g., before and after lunch, before and after using the restroom, before and after recess).
Last year, Hip Wah ordered additional musical instruments and other equipment, making the sharing of supplies less frequent.
All teachers, specialists, staff, and aides are required to be fully vaccinated and have had the vaccine booster.
All campers are required to be fully vaccinated by the first day of camp. All campers eligible for the booster are expected to have had the vaccine booster by the first day of camp. A camper who becomes eligible for the vaccine booster in June or July 2022 is expected to have the booster within 2 weeks of eligibility.
Fully vaccinated is defined as 2 weeks after the second dose in a 2-dose series, such as of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
A medical exemption will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The request must be accompanied by a written explanation from a medical provider.
We will evaluate and determine if masks will be required in indoor and outdoor settings based on county guidelines. We will communicate any masking requirement to you by June 6, 2022.
Screening and COVID-19 Testing
Depending on county positivity rates, we may require campers, aides, and staff to take a COVID-19 test and show documentation of a negative result in the week prior to the start of camp. If this becomes a Hip Wah requirement, we will communicate it to you by June 6, 2022. We may require additional testing during the 4-week session. Hip Wah is unable to reimburse for any portion of the testing.
A camper, aide, or staff that presents symptoms of an infectious illness during the day will be sent home and asked to consult with a healthcare provider to determine if COVID-19 testing is recommended.
In the event a camper, aide, or staff tests positive for COVID-19, we will follow county notification protocols.