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Statement from New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker on Overnight Summer Camps:

Throughout this entire public health response, there isn’t a single decision we have not made based on data and science, rather than emotion. Using the best currently available science and data, I have reached a decision to prohibit overnight children’s camps from operating this season in New York State.

Unlike day camps, which are approved to open June 29, overnight camps are a difficult setting to manage social distancing and face covering and infection control practices. Overnight camps have congregate settings and sleeping arrangements in close quarters that present too many risks. In such a setting, even a single positive case in a camper or staff member could create an untenable quarantine situation and overwhelm camp health personnel that may not be able to handle a serious infectious outbreak of this nature.

I have fond memories of summer sleepaway camp as a kid and I understand the role they play in childhood development and the disappointment this decision may bring to families across the state. But amid the worst public health crisis in a century, my number one priority is the health and safety of all New Yorkers. And while infection rates are declining, we need to proceed with caution and take every step possible to avoidundoing all the progress New Yorkers have made in bending the curve and reopening the state safely and responsibly.


  1. Can someone explain to this genius that we didn’t sign up for this. As adults we should be able to choose amount of risk we are willing to take. For us and for our children. Communism doesn’t work!

  2. Please write to Dr Howard Zucker on LinkedIn to reverse his decision!
    Summer sleepaway camps are not just essential. They are VITAL TO NY CHILDREN AND THEIR PARENTS!!!

  3. This had nothing to do w data, basically all the local towns boards…told the gov unequivecly No no no and he couldn’t ignore them. Also some from our own told the gov a bunch of times…dont open they won’t listen.. the attraction companies like waterparks knew that even if…there won’t be trips so they didnt push…much more to say lemasah yidden are creative and there is a number of bedieved options floating. Will update motzei shabs

  4. Bh I’m assuming chadarim will continue and the goyishe idea of two months of fun will maybe finally come to an end families already struggling to pay tuition will have some relief and maybe have a little extra to vacation together and build family connection as is done in most yiddeshe communities

  5. No words… we should remember this at the ballot box…. this is a dictator calling the shots…. a stark reminder that we’re in golus ואין לנו אלא אבינו שבשמים

  6. Smart move. With the spike in new cases and potential ‘second wave” emerging in 18 states, the risks are simply too great and not enough time/resources to safely open this summer. There is a good likelihood of an effective and safe vaccine by next summer, along with new treatment protocols, that will substantially reduce the risks and allow for a regular camp season.

  7. Day camps are much more likely to have outbreaks of Covid with all the comings and goings of the staff and the campers yet they are allowed to open. The sleep away camps were proposing to open in lockdown mode with no visiting days or off site visits. There is almost 0 likelihood of an outbreak there. Go figure.

  8. My personal opinion is that all Yeshivos and schools should fill their school buses with children, drive down to Albany and tell the Govenor “It’s easy to say no and you can’t, but give a solution of what you can do with thousands of children who have no place to go and nothing to do.” Kids that have nothing to do or look forward to can get into all kinds of trouble.