ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — It's something that's had a few counties across the Tampa Bay area cancel summer camp programs all together: coronavirus. Now, a St. Petersburg summer camp is closed because of it.
Walter Fuller Recreation Center will be shut down through Friday because two campers tested positive for COVID-19, according to Kari Fuhrmann with St. Pete Parks and Recreation.
Last week, the Thomas “Jet” Jackson Recreation Center at Wildwood Park was closed due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19; however, the employee did not come in contact with campers, according to Fuhrmann.
Fuhrmann said workers at the centers did tell campers’ parents about the positive cases and the temporary closure of the camps.
A staff member at Roberts Recreation Center also tested positive for COVID-19 before the start of the camp got started and was last at the center on May 28. Employees at the center deep cleaned the facility before camp began, according to Fuhrmann.
No other summer camps at city recreation centers are closed. Staff are following new guidelines that have been implemented for camps this summer. These guidelines are available at www.RestartStPete.com under the orders and policies section.
On May 22, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced summer camps and youth sports across the state will be allowed to open despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The governor said he trusts parents, coaches and doctors to keep kids safe, so his office isn't going to be setting any specific rules for organizations to follow.
"Kids have been out of organized activities for a few months now and we need to get it back," DeSantis said during a news conference in Jacksonville.
The governor said his decision is based on the numbers and research from the Centers for Disease Control that shows younger people remain at a lower risk for serious complications from COVID-19.
But, DeSantis said cities and counties will still be allowed to make their own decisions, so there may still be fewer summer camp options available.
Several counties in the Tampa Bay area have canceled, postponed or made changes to their summer camp programs.
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