Summer Camp COVID Tests: What Parents Need to Know

Swimsuit, sunscreen and towel are all backpack essentials. This year, your child may need a summer camp COVID test, too. Here’s the easiest way to check that off your list.

It’s time for school to end and summer camp to start. This year, don’t be surprised if your child’s summer camp requires proof of a negative COVID test before allowing your child to participate.

What does this mean, why is it important and how do you find a quick and easy way to get your child tested?

Kids under 12 are not yet eligible for vaccination, so proof of a negative test is a way for summer camp to make sure all participants are sharing fun memories and not COVID-19, says Bernice Sessa, M.D., regional medical director at Beaumont Urgent Care by WellStreet.

“It’s so important to get kids back to some normalcy. That’s the No.1 priority, and summer camp is a great way to do that for so many kids,” Dr. Sessa says, adding that some families are not yet ready to be vaccinated and younger kids can’t yet. “In order to have kids back at summer camp and avoid the spread of COVID, camps will be requiring COVID tests.”

Contrary to what some people believe, children can and do contract COVID-19 and some even show symptoms, though they can be often overlooked by parents. “There are an array of symptoms and outcomes for young kids who get COVID,” says Dr. Sessa. “It could look like simple upper respiratory illness or even allergies because this is the season. Others have absolutely zero symptoms.”

On the other end of the scale, some kids are getting sick, even to the point of requiring hospitalization.

Yet, summer camp can be a safe environment for kids, particularly if they are mostly outside in the fresh air and practice safe measures when clustered or inside.

Summer camp can be even safer if organizers and parents are confident that campers are COVID-free — something easily achieved by a simple test.

What offers peace of mind should also be convenient for parents. Fortunately, Beaumont Urgent Care makes getting that summer camp COVID test quick and easy.

Here, we share some basics about testing and Dr. Sessa’s tips for quick and convenient ways to get a COVID test for your summer camp-bound kid.

PCR testing is accurate

“For COVID testing, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is considered the gold standard because it is definitely the most accurate test,” Dr. Sessa says.

PCR testing involves swabbing the inside of the nose and then testing for the presence of the virus on the swab. It’s as simple and as painless as it sounds.

“All of our technicians are specially trained to do the PCR nasal swab and they are experts at doing it right,” Dr. Sessa says. “It can be a little uncomfortable, but not painful. The fear of the process is usually the worst part.”

Fast turnaround is key

There are a couple of reasons why quick results are important for your child’s summer camp COVID test. If you register for camp close to the start date, you’ll need to gather all your registration materials quickly. You don’t want your child to miss out on the start of camp, so you need a super-quick PCR test result.

Quick results also mean there is less chance a child could be infected between the test administration and the test result. Parents can rely on getting results in less than 24 hours — and usually a lot faster — at a Beaumont Urgent Care, says Dr. Sessa.

“If the child is tested by 1:30 p.m., results can be emailed by 11 that evening. If the test happens later than 1:30, the results are sent by 10:30 the next morning,” she says. “The results are also posted in your Beaumont MyChart.”

Quick and convenient

Busy parents need convenience, and Beaumont Urgent Care meets this need. You can simply walk into a Beaumont Urgent Care, or you can use a convenient Save My Spot feature right on the website.

After starting with a simple Virtual Visit, you can even schedule a curbside swab at most locations. “You can do the Virtual Visit from home on your cellphone or even in your car. Then you go to the designated clinic for the test and they come out and do it for you so you are not exposed to anyone in the clinic. It’s so convenient,” Dr. Sessa explains.

The Virtual Visit is a way for care providers at Beaumont Urgent Care to assess risk factors and offer counseling, even answer questions about the test. “It’s pretty quick, and any mom knows that convenience and fast service are key,” Dr. Sessa says.

For young kids and families, summer camp is a great way to recapture normal summer life. Beaumont Urgent Care helps make that happen.

“Kids want to get out and play and engage in social development and parents want peace of mind,” Dr. Sessa says. “For our children, it’s important for them to be able to go to camps and engage in activities. Quick turnaround PCR testing at Beaumont Urgent Care will help that tremendously.”

Learn more about Beaumont Urgent Care at

Claire Charlton
Claire Charlton
An enthusiastic storyteller, Claire Charlton focuses on delivering top client service as a content editor for Metro Parent. In her 20+ years of experience, she has written extensively on a variety of topics and is keen on new tech and podcast hosting. Claire has two grown kids and loves to read, run, camp, cycle and travel.


  1. My sister will enroll her child in the camp, and that is why she’s thinking of having her tested for covid first so it will be safer for the other campers. Thank you for sharing here that the PCR is the most effective one. It’s also a good thing that you clarified here that a nasal swab is possible too and will provide a false result.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -


Fun Things to Do with Metro Detroit Kids This Weekend

Looking for some family fun? Check out our list of events and other things to do this weekend.

Don’t Miss Traverse City Uncorked

Brought to you by Traverse City Uncorked.

3 Reasons to Visit and Enjoy the Macomb County Metroparks

Brought to you by the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development and the Macomb Intermediate School District

Best Middle Schools in Wayne County

See how your local middle school stacks up against the best in Wayne County.

- Advertisement -