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Guidelines for camping in Maine Memorial Day Weekend amid coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic

The state releases coronavirus, COVID-19 Prevention Checklist for Maine campgrounds

MAINE, USA — Maine campgrounds and RV parks will be allowed to open Friday – just in time for Memorial Day—and more than a week ahead of the original “phase 2” schedule in the economic recovery plan from Governor Mills.

The change was announced by Economic and Community Development Commissioner Heather Jonson at the daily Maine CDC briefing. Those campgrounds and RV parks have to follow strict guidelines about social distancing and other things, and can only be open for Maine residents. Commissioner Johnson says the revision to the plan was worked out in partnership with people from the state campground and RV park industry.

“In advance of Memorial Day weekend, we are accelerating reopening of campgrounds and RV parks for Maine residents … Maine has a long tradition of embracing the outdoors, and is also promoting health during the global pandemic,” Johnson said. “Campgrounds that choose to reopen must follow the precautions identified in the COVID-19 prevention checklist."

The DECD said campground will open to out of state residents after June 1, but those people will need to meet the state 14-day self-quarantine requirement before they can use the campground of RV site.

The Governor's Office has released a Phase 2 Reopening Checklist for Maine campgrounds, which is as follows: 

Employees: 

• Require employees to wear cloth face coverings and to practice good hand hygiene with frequent handwashing, especially between contact with customers and customer equipment. 

• Where possible, stagger employee shifts and meal breaks to avoid staff crowding. 

• Ensure employees stay 6 feet apart whenever practical. 

• Adjust seating in break rooms and other common areas to reflect physical distancing practices.

• Prohibit gatherings or meetings of employees of 10 or more during working hours. 

• Permit employees to take breaks and lunch outside, or in such other areas where physical distancing is attainable. 

• Campground management should set up a means of communicating with guests over the internet or telephone. This will limit face-to-face interactions for transactions like checking into the campground and complaints/recommendations from guests. 

• Closed vehicles provide a setting where infection can spread. Limit of one employee per campground truck/ATV/UTV when possible. Camp vehicles, UTV/ATVs should be cleaned and disinfected regularly, and face coverings should be worn when 2 or more employees share a vehicle that does not allow for physical distancing. 

• When camp vehicles are transporting clients, take only one family at a time, consider use of barriers in vans and use of facial covering. 

• Limit interaction between employees and outside visitors or delivery drivers; implement touchless receiving practices if possible. 

• Adjust training/onboarding practices to limit number of people involved and allow for 6-foot spacing; use virtual/video/audio training when possible. 

• Discourage employees from using colleagues’ phones, desks, workstations, radios, and handhelds/wearables. Shared work tools and equipment must be disinfected between users. 

• Provide employees training: physical distancing guidelines and expectations monitoring personal health; proper wear, removal, disposal of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); laundering of face coverings and uniforms as listed below; cleaning protocols as listed below (or per CDC); how to monitor personal health and body temperature at home; guidance on how to launder cloth face coverings and uniforms; cleaning protocol, including how to safely and effectively use cleaning supplies. 

• Consider employee training in safe de-escalation techniques. 

Patrons:

• Patrons should wear face coverings in public areas whenever physical distancing is not possible. 

• Guest visitation restricted to Maine residents and out of state visitors who have met the 14-day quarantine requirement at this time per executive order. 

• Call ahead or online reservations are required. 

• All reservations shall occur online or by telephone in advance. 

• Provide COVID-19 protocols at the time of reservation. Persons taking reservations must advise that if anyone in a party is feeling sick or may have been exposed to COVID-19, they are to stay home. 

• If visitors are allowed, they should follow physical distance guidelines, mask if physical distancing is not possible and not visit if they are ill. Gatherings of more than 10 are not allowed. 

• Campsites are limited to a single household. Each campsite is limited to 10 occupants per Executive Order #49 FY 19/20.

Operations: 

• No walk-in site rentals at this time. 

• For contact tracing purposes, establishments should maintain a record including contact information for clients, and those personnel who had direct interaction with them. 

• Restrict public access to administrative offices whenever possible. 

• Minimize contact with campers as much as possible during check-in process. If possible, perform the check-in outside the camper’s vehicle. Advise campers to pay in advice, online or other electronic payment options. 

• Provide campers with specific information on COVID-19 protocols, use of face coverings in public areas, and limitations in campground activities and facilities. 

• Check-in may be conducted 1) through a phone app once the patron arrives on-site, 2) curbside check-in with a credit card and minimal contact with staff, or 3) staff verification of camper arrival by campsite drive by and phone check-in whenever possible. 

• Note that vending machines are not recommended at this time due to the challenge of keeping surfaces clean. • Retail stores at campgrounds refer to the retail checklist for guidance. 

• Equipment rentals such as boats and bicycles may occur only if thorough cleaning and disinfection of equipment between patrons. Communal buildings allowed to remain open are bathhouses, restrooms, camp stores, and laundry facilities with physical distancing. 

• Campground staff should increase routine cleaning and disinfection procedures with emphasis on frequently touched surfaces (such as door handles, counters, light switches, toilets, etc. and including communal buildings). 

• Campground staff should monitor groups to avoid (and prohibit) gatherings of 10 or more people. 

• Campground staff should monitor the use of communal buildings to encourage physical distancing between guests. 

• Campground playgrounds and swimming pools should remain closed at this time. 

• Swimming in the ocean, lakes, and ponds is allowed. Maintain physical distancing in the presence of other non-family patrons on beach areas. 

• For campground with communal dining facilities, refer to the restaurant checklist for guidance on food service. 

• Campground staff should post signs/posters promoting proper handwashing (soap and water, ≥20 seconds). Staff should also maintain an adequate supply of soap and paper towels (if applicable) in all public restrooms. 

• All gatherings should be limited to 10 people per Executive Order #49 FY 19/20 along with physical distancing.

At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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