April 26, 2021
Dear Kohut Family,
We hope this letter finds you well, enjoying the spring weather and looking forward to the summer. We can hardly believe May is less than a week away! Which means it’s less than two months until we welcome our 1st session kampers! If you haven’t read our previous “Safe at Kamp” letters or our COVID-19 FAQ’s yet, we recommend doing so before reading on.
As promised in our Safe at Kamp #2 letter, we are dedicating this letter to “all things testing.” Testing has been one of the most evolving mitigation practices and also proven to be one of the most important layers of protection against the spread of COVID-19. Below we have outlined our plan as it relates specifically to testing.
We will require every person (kamper and staff) to take a molecular (PCR) test within 72 hours prior to arrival at Kamp. Negative results must be submitted to us prior to joining a travel group or before arriving at Kamp, if being dropped off. Should your kamper have a positive test result, please call us to discuss next steps and options moving forward.
There are many molecular test options available. We have had experience and success with Vault Health and Walgreens, though you may use any testing service your family prefers, so long as it is a molecular (PCR) test and we receive the results prior to arrival. As Arrival Day approaches, we will make available the platform through which you will submit these results.
As another layer of protection, we will be using Abbott’s BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card for rapid antigen testing. This is a nasal swab which will be administered by our Nursing staff, with the results produced in just 15 minutes. While this test is most commonly used in symptomatic individuals, after consultation with Dr. Blaisdell, we feel it is yet another layer of protection we can reasonably utilize.
If you are dropping your kamper off, this test will be administered upon arrival. All families will be notified via email when your kamper’s negative result is confirmed. Should your kamper test positive, we will call you to discuss next steps.
We will administer another (and hopefully the last all-Kamp!) test 5 days after arrival. This saliva-based PCR test will be administered through Shield T3. After extensive conversations and research, we have decided on Shield T3 for a couple reasons: 1. Their ability and reputation to effectively test individually with saliva, instead of a nasal swab; and 2. Their processing lab (which has successfully processed most of the University of Maine’s tests throughout this year), is within driving distance of Kamp and assures us more control of handling and delivery, as well as the most efficient turnaround time for our location, guaranteeing us less than 24 hours.
Additionally, we will keep extra tests on hand. Should any kamper or staff present with COVID-19 symptoms, they will be tested individually and treated accordingly until results are received.
What happens if my child tests “positive” during Kamp?
If a kamper receives a positive test result while at Kamp, he/she will be permitted to stay at Kamp (until Departure Day); you are also welcome to collect your kamper, if you would prefer. During the requisite 10 day recovery period, he/she will sleep in our dedicated isolation space. While the term “isolation” is used for medical reasons, your kamper will continue to be warmly cared for by dedicated (fully vaccinated) Nurses and staff, and may have distanced/protected visits from friends. Should the kamper feel well enough, we will have plenty of fun “shadow Kamp” activities for him/her to participate in without risking further exposure.
Of course, our hope is that no one tests positive before or during Kamp. However, the likelihood remains very realistic. We continue to plan for the many contingencies which could occur. We will be quarantining the staff at Kamp before Arrival Day and restricting departures from our “Kohut Bubble.”
The biggest factor in our ability to prevent COVID-19 from entering Kamp is your family’s compliance with low-risk behavior 10 days prior to arrival. For more details regarding low-risk behavior please go to: Safe at Kamp #2 Thank you for your attention and partnership with this.
Sending well wishes and big hugs!
Lisa, Dan and your Kohut Team