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Jax Daily Record Friday, May 22, 202001:00 PM EST

State lifts restrictions on summer camps, youth activities

Gov. DeSantis says it doesn’t appear that children are a source of infection for adults.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted all state restrictions on summer camps and other youth activities, based on data indicating that children aren’t as likely to contract COVID-19 as adults.

DeSantis said at a news conference May 22 in Jacksonville that Florida has not recorded the fatality of anyone under 25 caused by the coronavirus, children are less likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 than adults, and it doesn’t appear that children are a source of infection for adults.

“We kept day cares open in Florida and we didn’t see any major problems,” DeSantis said.

The decision whether to allow children to participate in summer camps, dance camps, youth athletics and other traditional summer activities is up to parents.

“This is a parent’s decision. If you don’t feel comfortable, don’t do it,” DeSantis said.

Also at the news conference, the DeSantis family pediatrician, Dr. Bonnie White with Ascension St. Vincent’s, said camps should conduct temperature checks and make sure children wash their hands, and parents should use common sense.

“If your child is sick, they should stay home,” she said.

If a child isn’t sick and doesn’t attend an organized summer activity, White recommended that parents allow them to go outside and play with other children.

“It’s time for kids to get back to normal,” she said.

DeSantis said counties can decide whether to follow the state’s decision. Mayor Lenny Curry said Duval County will lift the restrictions.

“There’s a yearning to get kids back into activities and out of the house,” Curry said.

“We can’t live in perpetual lockdown.”

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