Healthy Camping: Norovirus Prevention at Youth Camps

Healthy Camping: Norovirus Prevention at Youth Camps
Prevent Norovirus: Camp Healthy

Basics About Norovirus

Norovirus is very contagious and causes vomiting and diarrhea. People of all ages can get infected and sick with norovirus. You can get norovirus from:

  • Having direct contact with an infected person, such as shaking hands.
  • Sharing food or eating utensils with an infected person.
  • Consuming contaminated food or water.
  • Touching contaminated surfaces then putting your unwashed hands in your mouth.

Guidance for preventing norovirus at youth camps

  • Establish a pre-camp arrival agreement requiring campers to be free of norovirus symptoms upon arrival; let parents know that they may need to pick up ill campers.
  • Instruct campers and staff on how to properly wash their hands; make sure that handwashing facilities have soap, running water, and disposable towels.
Prevent Norovirus: Wash Your Hands

Practice Food Safety

  • Make sure that campers, staff, and food workers are trained in food safety practices, such as using gloves and utensils when handling or preparing ready-to-eat foods, beverages, or ice.
  • Do not allow ill campers, staff, or food workers in food service areas until at least 48 hours after their symptoms have resolved.
  • Campers, staff, and food workers should not cook with or consume untreated water.
Prevent Norovirus: Food Preparation. Wash Your Hands. Wear Disposable Gloves.

Clean Up Vomit and Diarrhea Immediately

  • After someone vomits or has diarrhea, always thoroughly clean then disinfect the entire area immediately.
  • Put on rubber or disposable gloves, and wipe the entire area with paper towels, soap, and hot water.
  • Then disinfect the area using a bleach-based household cleaner as directed on the product label.
    • If no such disinfectant is available, you can use a solution made with 5 tablespoons to 1.5 cups of household bleach per 1 gallon of water.
  • Leave the bleach disinfectant on the affected area for at least 5 minutes.
  • Then clean the entire area again with soap and hot water.
Prevent Norovirus: Immediate Clean-up

Isolate ill campers and staff

  • Isolate ill campers and staff from healthy campers and staff.
  • Provide separate restrooms and eating areas until at least 48 hours after ill campers and staff symptoms have resolved.
  • Campers and staff who are vomiting or have diarrhea should not swim or participate in recreational water activities until at least 1 week after these symptoms have resolved.
Prevent Norovirus: Use Treated Water Only

What to tell staff, including food workers, about norovirus prevention

  • Practice food safety.
  • Practice and instruct campers on proper handwashing.
  • Make sure ill campers and staff are appropriately isolated, and ensure they use separate restrooms and eating areas until 48 hours after their symptoms resolve.
  • Immediately clean then disinfect the entire area after someone vomits or has diarrhea.
Norovirus Prevention: Healthy Habits

What to tell parents and kids about norovirus prevention

  • Ill campers may need to be picked up.
  • Do not drop off ill campers or campers who have been ill in the last 48 hours.
  • Make sure campers:
    • Wash their hands often with soap and water.
    • Do not share food and drinks with others.
    • Practice healthy hygiene.
    • Report any illness to camp staff.