NORTHRIDGE (CBSLA) — As the state starts to shut down again, summer camps are starting to open.

The North Valley YMCA launched its summer camp this week but with major modifications to follow health guidelines.

“You see the markers on the floor that have been set apart six feet,” said north Valley YMCA Childcare Director Claudia Elias.

The kids are kept six feet apart and only two children share a desk to play and to eat.

Blue tape down the middle of the tables ensures the children, and their stuff, stay separated. Each child is also given their own plastic bag of art supplies.

The janitorial staff cleans and sanitizes throughout the day and once a shared item is used by one child, it’s put into a “dirty” bin until it can be sanitized.

“They are reacting a lot better than I thought they would,” said Elias.

The YMCA had a head start on setting up for camp with the new state health COVID-19 guidelines because they have been providing childcare for essential workers since May.

Elias said the key to operating safely is, “distance, distance, distance.”

“The little ones tend to forget the six feet because they obviously want to share things and play together, so we just remind them to stay on their dots.”

Masks are required only when you come and go, but the staff has found many of the kids want to keep their masks on.

Everyone, including parents, gets a temperature check and they are asked about travel and exposure.

“I am just grateful to be around kids,” said 9-year-old Ashton Jones.

The YMCA will provide camp through mid-August at 10 locations throughout Los Angeles County.

The cost is $250 a week, but only 36 kids are allowed to sign up each week.

“I was a little nervous and hesitant because I didn’t know what it would look like, but seeing them happy makes me happy and that’s our purpose,” said Elias.

For safety reasons, the YMCA isn’t allowing any visitors. When parents drop off their kids, they have to leave them at the front door.


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