For Immediate Release: July 2, 2020 - Travel Alert

Contacts

Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association

Jason Vaughan, Assistant Executive Director

Beverly Gruber, Executive Director

610-767-5026

  

 

Travel Alert:  Camping families traveling from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas & Utah.

All campers traveling from the above mentioned states arriving at Pennsylvania Campgrounds – including Pennsylvania residents returning home and traveling to a campground are recommended to self-quarantine for 14 days and campers will need to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to a campground after travel from one of the above mentioned states.  

Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. Campers that are quarantined should stay at their camp site, separate themselves from others and monitor their health.   Campers from the above mentioned states are required to have contactless check in at the campground. Additionally quarantined campers must remain on their camp site except to go out for life-sustaining reasons.   When leaving campsite for life-sustaining reasons quarantined campers must wear mask and practice social distancing  .   Quarantined campers are not permitted at any campground activity or the use of any campground facilities such as pool, dog parks or restrooms during the quarantine time.  

 

For Immediate Release:  April 27, 2020

 

Contacts:

Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association

Jason Vaughan, Assistant Executive Director

Beverly Gruber, Executive Director

610-767-5026

  

To ensure that Pennsylvanians have opportunities to safely enjoy outdoor recreation as a way to maintain positive physical and mental health, and in keeping with the commonwealth’s stay-at-home orders to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Governor Tom Wolf today announced that the Wolf Administration is lifting some restrictions on businesses related to certain outdoor activities.

Starting Friday, May 1, golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips and privately owned campgrounds may reopen statewide and are required to follow updated life-sustaining business guidance and FAQ issued by the Wolf Administration to include specifics for how these outdoor recreational industries can resume activities while prioritizing public health and safety. Campgrounds in state parks will remain closed through Thursday, May 14.

“Pennsylvanians have remained resilient throughout this COVID-19 crisis, and as we successfully continue to flatten the curve to protect our physical health, it is critical that we also focus on our physical and mental health during these extraordinary times. As the weather warms and daylight lengthens, enjoying time outdoors is an important way to manage stress,” Wolf said. “As we start to take measured, limited steps to reopen our commonwealth, reopening these industries will help to rebuild our economy and strengthen our mental health.”

According to a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly half (45 percent) of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over COVID-19 with the burden likely to continue even as the pandemic’s threat diminishes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance on visiting parks and recreational facilities. These guidelines must be followed statewide by businesses and when engaging in outdoor activity while the state disaster declaration remains in effect. The guidelines will ensure the safety of individuals and families engaging in outdoor activities and adherence will help slow the spread of COVID-19.

  • Stay close to home: Pennsylvanians are encouraged to enjoy permitted outdoor recreational activities within their community and avoid crowding popular destinations.
  • Practice social distancing: Maintain the recommended minimum 6 feet apart from fellow recreationists. Pennsylvanians are also encouraged to wear a mask or protective garment that covers the nose and mouth any time they go outside. If a parking lot at a park is full or there are too many people on the same trail, find an alternate place to recreate. Cross the street to avoid running directly past another runner or wait longer at a golf hole for a fellow golfer to move forward.
  • Minimize risk to others: Individuals should only go out if they feel healthy and have not been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Practice good hygiene: Wash hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol. Avoid surfaces that are touched often, such as doorknobs and handrails.
  • Have a plan: Create a safety plan before heading outdoors. Explain to children the need to keep their distance from others, even if they happen to see a friend while outside. Discuss with partners, social distancing while on the golf course. Think through how to avoid other runners when waiting to safely cross a street at the same time.

“Practicing social distancing takes a little planning and patience but it is necessary if we want to continue to flatten the curve while ensuring that Pennsylvanians have opportunities to de-stress and get exercise,” Wolf said. “Finding the balance between enjoying the outdoors and staying safe is only possible when all Pennsylvanians are abiding by the same precautions. It’s critical that all Pennsylvanians adhere to the safety guidelines to allow for these outdoor activities to remain available to the public.”

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit on.pa.gov/coronavirus.

 

For Immediate Release – April 14, 2020

Contacts:

Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association

Jason Vaughan, Assistant Executive Director

Beverly Gruber, Executive Director

610-767-5026

  

The Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association (PCOA) is carefully monitoring the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and is in regular contact with government entities for information and guidance. The primary concern is for the health and safety of campers, staff and public. On Friday March 20th association was granted a waiver by the Governor’s office that campgrounds are a life-sustaining essential business and may remain open. On Wednesday, April 1, 2020 Governor Wolf issued a STATEWIDE STAY-AT-HOME order that will continue until April 30.  On Monday April 13, 2020 Governor Wolf issued a revision to our waiver that applies during the STATEWIDE-STAY-AT-HOME ORDER.

PCOA is urging all its members to comply with the guidelines concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and to take measures to mitigate the spread of the virus.  Campgrounds may only remain in operation for full-time residents in stationary mobile homes (RV’s). Per the Stay at Home Order, no recreational campgrounds are permitted to be operating unless you also have permanent residents. In addition, if your campground sells heating fuels or other essential items, those sales may continue.

Campgrounds and campers are reminded that aspects of daily operations are not considered life-sustaining and that normal operations will not resume at this time. The exemption is based on limited staffing and limited consumer interaction. It is also based on campground owners, managers and staff doing due diligence to limit and stop congregation of guests. If they are open campgrounds should have policies in place that include what they are doing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Some examples include but are not limited to: If a park is continuing to keep office, or laundry open it needs to have the sanitation and people limits in place. Play areas, rest rooms, game rooms, recreation halls and other like amenities should be closed at this time. No planned activities are allowed during the time of the pandemic. The encouragement of outdoor activities that do not involve interaction with other families is recommended. Strict standards and swift action need to take place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and help flatten the curve.

Campgrounds will decide on an individual basis whether to remain open or open when their season begins. Several Pennsylvania parks are providing accommodations for families traveling, including those forced to relocate and travel far distances home or to safer locations. There is also an active population of RVers that travel full-time and rely on campgrounds for accommodations. Some of our parks are sheltering people who have been displaced by this and other disasters. Some of our parks are providing housing for essential workers such as traveling nurses who are on the front lines fighting the pandemic. It is important to be able to provide this accommodation for the health and safety of the public.

If a facility is not open at this time of year or does limited business, it is recommended that they remain closed during this shelter in place time and do not allow consumers on property until April 30, 2020. Limiting travel and movement is important in the efforts as a society to stop the spread of Covid-19. PCOA members are encouraged to work together to ensure this pandemic ends quickly and business can resume. The primary objective is to work to ensure the safety and well-being of the public. If at any time campgrounds are not able to help flatten the curve and stop the spread of COVID-19, Pennsylvania campgrounds will close until public safety allows them to re-open.

Staying at home doesn’t mean making a daily stop at the grocery store because you need to get out of the house. Staying at home means you must stay at home. Staying at home means that all non-essential travel is not allowed.

Individuals may leave their residence only to perform any of the following allowable individual activities and allowable essential travel:

  • Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, or the health and safety of their family or household members (including pets), such as obtaining medicine or medical supplies, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home
  • Getting necessary services or supplies for themselves, for their family or household members, or as part of volunteer efforts, or to deliver those services or supplies to others to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences
  • Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking or running if they maintain social distancing
  • To perform work providing essential products and services at a life-sustaining business
  • To care for a family member or pet in another household
  • Any travel related to the provision of or access to the above-mentioned individual activities or life-sustaining business activities
  • Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons
  • Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services
  • Travel to return to a place of residence from an outside jurisdiction
  • Travel required by law enforcement or court order
  • Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the commonwealth
  • Anyone performing life-sustaining travel does not need paperwork to prove the reason for travel.

 

 

For Immediate Release – April 3, 2020

Contacts:

Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association

Jason Vaughan, Assistant Executive Director

Beverly Gruber, Executive Director

610-767-5026

  

 

The Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association (PCOA) is carefully monitoring the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and is in regular contact with government entities for information and guidance. The primary concern is for the health and safety of campers, staff and public. On Friday March 20th at 8:35 PM the association was granted clarification by the Governor’s office that campgrounds are a life-sustaining essential business and may remain open. On Wednesday, April 1, 2020 Governor Wolf issued a STATEWIDE STAY-AT-HOME order that will continue until April 30.

PCOA is urging all its members to comply with the guidelines concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and to take measures to mitigate the spread of the virus.  Since campgrounds are designated an essential business it puts the burden on the campground guest to determine whether they should travel to a campground. Any potential enforcement action would fall on the traveler, not on the destination campground. First check to see if the campground is open, many of them are staying closed until the end of the month. If they are open and able to take you in, then it is up to you if you want to risk traveling.

Campgrounds and campers are reminded that aspects of daily operations are not considered life-sustaining and that normal operations will not resume at this time. The exemption is based on limited staffing and limited consumer interaction. It is also based on campground owners, managers and staff doing due diligence to limit and stop congregation of guests. If they are open campgrounds should have policies in place that include what they are doing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Some examples include but are not limited to: If a park is continuing to keep office, or laundry open it needs to have the sanitation and people limits in place. Play areas, rest rooms, game rooms, recreation halls and other like amenities should be closed at this time. No planned activities are allowed during the time of the pandemic. The encouragement of outdoor activities that do not involve interaction with other families is recommended. Strict standards and swift action need to take place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and help flatten the curve.

Campgrounds will decide on an individual basis whether to remain open or open when their season begins. Several Pennsylvania parks are providing accommodations for families traveling, including those forced to relocate and travel far distances home or to safer locations. There is also an active population of RVers that travel full-time and rely on campgrounds for accommodations. Some of our parks are sheltering people who have been displaced by this and other disasters. Some of our parks are providing housing for essential workers such as traveling nurses who are on the front lines fighting the pandemic. It is important to be able to provide this accommodation for the health and safety of the public.

If a facility is not open at this time of year or does limited business, it is recommended that they remain closed during this shelter in place time and do not allow consumers on property until April 30, 2020. Limiting travel and movement is important in the efforts as a society to stop the spread of Covid-19. PCOA members are encouraged to work together to ensure this pandemic ends quickly and business can resume. The primary objective is to work to ensure the safety and well-being of the public. If at any time campgrounds are not able to help flatten the curve and stop the spread of COVID-19, Pennsylvania campgrounds will close until public safety allows them to re-open.

Staying at home doesn’t mean making a daily stop at the grocery store because you need to get out of the house. Staying at home means you must stay at home. Staying at home means that all non-essential travel is not allowed.

Individuals may leave their residence only to perform any of the following allowable individual activities and allowable essential travel:

  • Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, or the health and safety of their family or household members (including pets), such as obtaining medicine or medical supplies, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home
  • Getting necessary services or supplies for themselves, for their family or household members, or as part of volunteer efforts, or to deliver those services or supplies to others to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences
  • Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking or running if they maintain social distancing
  • To perform work providing essential products and services at a life-sustaining business
  • To care for a family member or pet in another household
  • Any travel related to the provision of or access to the above-mentioned individual activities or life-sustaining business activities
  • Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons
  • Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services
  • Travel to return to a place of residence from an outside jurisdiction
  • Travel required by law enforcement or court order
  • Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the commonwealth
  • Anyone performing life-sustaining travel does not need paperwork to prove the reason for travel.

 

For Immediate Release March 20, 2020

 

Contacts:

Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association

Jason Vaughan, Assistant Executive Director

Beverly Gruber, Executive Director

610-767-5026

 

 

The Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association (PCOA) is carefully monitoring the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and is in regular contact with government entities for information and guidance. The primary concern is for the health and safety of campers, staff and public. On Friday March 20th at 8:35 PM the association was granted clarification by the Governor’s office that campgrounds are a life-sustaining essential business and may remain open. PCOA is urging all of its members to comply with the guidelines concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and to take measures to mitigate the spread of the virus.

 

Campgrounds and campers are reminded that aspects of daily operations are not considered life-sustaining and that normal operations will not resume at this time. The exemption is based on limited staffing and limited consumer interaction. It is also based on campground owners, managers and staff doing due diligence to limit and stop congregation of guests. If they are open campgrounds should have policies in place that include what they are doing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

 

Some examples include but are not limited to: If a park is continuing to keep office, laundry or rest rooms open it needs to have the sanitation and people limits in place. Play areas, game rooms, recreation halls and other like amenities should be closed at this time. The encouragement of outdoor recreation that does not involve interaction with other families is recommended. Strict standards and swift action need to take place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and help flatten the curve.

 

Campgrounds will decide on an individual basis whether to remain open or open when their season begins. Several Pennsylvania parks are providing accommodations for families traveling, including those forced to relocate and travel far distances home or to safer locations. It is important to be able to provide this accommodation for the health and safety of the public. If a facility is not open at this time of year or does limited business, it is recommended that they remain closed during this shelter in place time and do not allow consumers on property until this period of time is over. Limiting travel and movement is important in the efforts as a society to stop the spread of Covid-19. PCOA members are encouraged to work together to ensure this pandemic ends quickly and business can resume. The primary objective is to work to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the public. If at any time campgrounds are not able to help flatten the curve and stop the spread of COVID-19, Pennsylvania campgrounds will close until public safety allows them to re-open.

 

The rationale for why campgrounds should be considered life-sustaining businesses:

·         Almost all private campgrounds have convenience stores that serve their markets, and many dispense fuel and provide propane to both their campers and the public.

·         RV parks and campgrounds provide safe accommodations for families, many of whom rely on a secure place to park their RV for the night or for the season.

·         There is also an active population of RVers that travel full-time and rely on campgrounds for accommodations.

·         Our partners in the RV industry are advocating for RVs to serve as temporary quarantine quarters, as this situation continues, because they provide a safe, controlled environment. Campgrounds will be necessary for shelter in this scenario.

·         Many of our parks are sheltering people who have been displaced by this and other disasters.

·         RVers provide their own quarters, lessening the need for interaction with others.

As an association, PCOA is recommending the following steps to all campgrounds to mitigate risks of the COVID-19 pandemic:

·         Step up cleaning and sanitizing procedures for bath houses, cabins, all publicly accessible facilities, recreation amenities, and provide many hand sanitizers throughout these facilities

·         Take extra care on the surfaces predominantly touched such as doorknobs, light switches, appliances, electronics, phones, utensils, etc.

·         Consider having enough cash and change on hand to deal with a bank closure for an extended period.

·         Consider carrying extra items such as bleach, toilet paper, food service items, and other basic things we use daily.

·         Take stock of small maintenance replacement items in case something breaks, and local hardware stores are closed for an extended period.

·         Perhaps look at a more lenient sick leave policy to encourage staff to stay home while this threat is active. 

·         Provide staff additional time for hand washing, hand sanitizer, cleaning phones, and other high-frequency use items.

·         Think about a more lenient cancellation policy while there is an active threat. 

·         Perhaps encourage prepayment, so there is no exchange of items and less risk of transferring the virus. Or, in state a temporary “at site” check in option or delivery service for store items so worried customers don’t have to come in your office or store.

·        Consider cancelling group activities where people congregate in one place and add more activities such as scavenger hunts where people do not have to be near each other or staff for extended periods of time.