Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (21st District of New York)
April 29, 2020
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
New York State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Dear Governor Cuomo,
We write to request that New York State provide direction to the counties and municipalities on the operations of summer camps considering the outbreak of COVID-19. It is our understanding that to date, no official guidance has been provided and that many summer camps begin their preparations and early operations in May.
Upstate New York is home to dozens of summer camps that bring tens of thousands of children and their families from all over the country. These camps hire hundreds of staff to meet the demands that their summer programs provide. Many of these campers and staff will arrive from COVID-19 hotspots around the Northeastern United States. Given the potential for further spreading of the virus, local health officials need to be consulted and a plan must be created that addresses the reopening of summer camps and any restrictions that may be placed on their operation.
Summer camps are an economic driver in many communities, where the revenue generated by the camps is counted on to support these communities throughout the year. The influx of money from campers, families, and camp staff is essential to the small businesses near the camps and food providers around the region. The loss of revenue from these camps, should the camps be required to remain closed, would be devastating.
We request that your office provide county officials and Departments of Health with guidance on the state’s plan for summer camps. Regardless of what the state’s decision is on the opening of summer camps, the effects will be felt by our rural communities. To ensure these effects are minimized, guidance must be issued promptly to allow counties, municipalities, camp directors, and small businesses to implement plans in response. Many camps have already hired their staff, ordered food and supplies, and are making plans for the beginning of their season.
Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to your response.
Member of Congress
Senator Joseph A. Griffo Senator Daphne Jordan
Deputy Minority Leader NY Senate District 43
NY Senate District 47
Assemblyman Jake Ashby Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush
NY Assembly District 107 NY Assembly District 117
Assemblyman Dan Stec Assemblyman Mark Walczyk
NY Assembly District 114 NY Assembly District 116
Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh Lawrence Dolhof
NY Assembly District 112 Chair, Lewis County Legislature
Shaun Gillilland Mark Henry
Chair, Essex County Board of Supervisors Chair, Clinton County Legislature
Vincent Bono Frank Thomas
Chair, Herkimer County Legislature Chair, Warren County Board of Supervisors