FORT MYERS, Fla. — Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome or PMIS is what doctors are calling this rare disease affecting children, they believe it is linked to COVID -19. Symptoms of PMIS include rash, swollen hands and feet, red eyes, and red tongue, proving that COVID 19 can also affect the most vulnerable.
As summer camps begin to reopen, what are the risks? Fort Myers City Councilman Johnny Streets said in a statement,
“ I still have concerns about youth summer programs. I believe we’re rushing in a new wave of infections. A waiver from parents or guardians don’t prevent death. The whole world is at risk. Just my thoughts. I pray that I am wrong.” said Streets.
Robert Hawkes with Florida Gulf Coast University says, before sending your kids off to camp there are questions every parent should be asking.
“Have the staff been tested for COVID 19 ? Are the staff wearing masks? Are they maintaining the proper distance? What kind of cleaning process are they’re underway in the facilities? Are they disinfecting every day? What happens if one of their staff members becomes sick? What is their plan, what is their process?", said Robert Hawkes, Director of the Physicians Assistant Program at FGCU.
The Sky Family YMCA in Fort Myers says, they have been preparing for the kids return.
“We also screen them upon beginning camp, so we ask, have they been outside the country in the last 14 days? Have they come in contact with anyone who has a confirmed case of COVID 19? or Do they have flu-like symptoms?”, said Joey Belanger, Regional Executive Director, Sky Family YMCA.
Practicing social distancing, frequent hand-washing, and other safety precautions with campers, Belanger says they're doing the same for staff.
“They get their temperature taken, they get the same set of screening questions that we're asking of the children, and in addition to that, all of our camp staff are required to wear masks and gloves while working,” said Belanger.
Robert Hawkes also stressed the importance of parents not sending their kids to camp if they are sick, and advising parents to talk with their children about the importance of social distancing while away from home.