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The CDC issued updated guidance regarding summer camps on Friday. (Boys and Girls Clubs of the Austin Area)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed its guidance for summer camps, saying vaccinated adolescents do not need to wear masks at summer camps and younger children who are not yet eligible for the vaccine can usually go without masks when outside.

The updated guidelines, which were released on Friday, take into account the CDC's recent announcement that masks are rarely needed outdoors and that fully vaccinated individuals can forego them in most situations. Earlier this month, Austin ISD announced that it wouldn't require students to wear masks during outdoor physical activities.

Camp providers may still find it challenging to establish policies in response to the updated guidance given the fact that children under 12 remain ineligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Thinkery, which hosts a series of summer camps, continues to require masks for all staff and visitors older than 2. Other local camp providers say they will follow CDC and local public health guidelines, which allows for more flexibility as guidance evolves.

More than 64% of the Travis County population 12 and older is partially vaccinated, and nearly 52% are fully vaccinated, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

ARC Clinical Research, the research division of Austin Regional Clinic, announced Friday that it will enroll children 6 months to 11 years old in the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trial starting June 7. ARC anticipates that demand will far exceed the study limit of 85 pediatric participants, according to a press release. Interested parents can find more information about the study here.


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