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'Health and safety of our children first' | Summer camps in Fairfax County canceled

The decision was primarily based on guidance issued by the CDC, and the American Camp Association.

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) canceled its summer camps, citing concerns about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Fairfax's Department of Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) made the announcement Wednesday canceling all 2020 summer camp programs, including FCPA sponsored summer camp programs, REC-Pac programs held at local schools, summer camp programs sponsored by NCS and SACC programs.

Canceled NCS programs include: 

  • RECQuest
  • SACC summer programs
  • Therapeutic Recreation Camp
  • Value in Prevention Camp (V.I.P)
  • Teens in Action

"As the public health situation is dynamic in nature, if Fairfax County facilities are able to reopen during the summer, we will consider offering limited on-site youth programming to meet the needs of families across Fairfax County," NCS Director Chris Leonard said. 

Officials acknowledged that canceling camps effectively meant canceling summer childcare options for many Fairfax families. 

"We recognize how important camps are to this community, but we need to keep the health and safety of our children first and foremost," Park Authority Director Kirk Kincannon said. "Rest assured we are continuing to search for the right programs and services we can provide based on guidance at all levels of government. These are unprecedented times and public support has been vital."

RELATED: Parents: Summer camp in Arlington County isn't an option this summer. Here's why

Arlington County made a similar announcement Wednesday, saying it “was not confident all campers and staff would be able to safely enjoy an even modified camp experience.”

Canceling summer camps were primarily based on guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Camp Association (ACA), as well as Virginia’s guidelines for summer camps.

RELATED: Parents: Summer camp in Montgomery County is not an option. Here's why

Montgomery County announced May 13 that all summer camps and programs are canceled and customer pre-payments will be refunded. Officials said they are also developing contingency plans for new camps in a COVID-19 environment. 

Montgomery County Recreation said they will have new safety standards in place for all programs and services as it plans for eventual re-openings following the COVID-19 health crisis.

Check the status of the virus in your state with your state health department's websites by tapping below:

RELATED: Fairfax County begins reopening parks for Memorial Day weekend

RELATED: Return to class: Fairfax County lays out plan for students to safely return to school this fall

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