SAN FRANCISCO—On Thursday, January 7, Camp Mather announced that its 2021 summer camp will be canceled due to coronavirus risks.
It “will remain closed in 2021” explaining that it “faces significant challenges in ensuring social distancing” because “campers share bathrooms, meals, and social activities,” in a press release.
When asked whether the camp will reverse its decision if the coronavirus situation improves by this summer, Tamara Aparton, a representative for San Francisco Recreation and Parks told the San Francisco News”unfortunately, no” and explained that “it takes a bit of time to hire staff and allow for the lottery/registration for campers…and the health forecast doesn’t make opening a realistic option.”
Last year, Camp Mather closed its summer 2020 camp for similar reasons. Aparton told San Francisco News that aside from this summer and last, Camp Mather had to be temporarily closed “in recent years because of poor air quality stemming from the Ferguson fire (2018) and outbreaks of the stomach flu” in 2011 and 2018.
SF Recreation and Parks also announced the news tweeting:
“After careful consideration for the health and safety of our campers and staff, Camp Mather will remain closed in 2021 due to COVID-19 risks. The beloved camp has served San Francisco for more than 90 years and we look forward to the day we can reopen safely.”
Camp Mather, with 337 acres, “hosts about 500 campers and 70 employees” every week, according to its website.
The state of California has more than 2.5 million cases of COVID-19 and more than 28,000 deaths. More than 34 million tests have been given in the state since the start of the pandemic. Over 25,000 cases are from the city of San Francisco.
On Monday, January 4, CA Governor Gavin Newsom, who recently came out in support of a $600 stimulus check, said on Twitter that hospitalizations are “up 18%” and ICUs (Intensive Care Unit) are “up 22%” from the last couple of weeks.
Camp Mather canceling summer camp this year comes after Mayor London Breed said on December 31, 2020 that the city’s stay-at-home order will be indefinite until further notice.
In addition, SF’s vaccine rollout is underway with the mayor tweeting on January 5 that residents at Laguna Honda Hospital (previously an epicenter) started getting vaccinations on January 4.
The hospital was “the location that we most feared was most vulnerable to a major outbreak,” she tweeted.
She added “we’ll continue to do everything to administer these vaccines as soon as they come in,” she noted in a tweet.