STATEMENT RELEASED TODAY
COOPERSTOWN – Cooperstown Dreams Park’s announcement that it will require players 12 and over at the youth baseball park this summer to have COVID-19 vaccinations is already causing consternation among parents.
So far, some states will not provide vaccines to students under 16 until further testing is done, according to Jodi Plimpton-Werstein of Lee County, Fla., which puts parents in a bind.
“Should a vaccine become available (for 12-15 year olds) in the near future,” said Plimpton-Werstein in a letter to the editor, “they are now putting parents in a position to decide between breaking their child’s heart by denying them a lifelong dream of playing at Cooperstown, or give them a vaccine that is still in its infancy, with no real data regarding long term effects or efficacy.”
Here is the text of Dreams Park’s statement, released today:
“In the best interest of our state, local community, and most importantly our employees, campers and their families, whose health and safety we are obligated to protect, Cooperstown Dreams Park has determined that it is essential to have immunization requirements and a reduced capacity to operate for the 2021 season.
“Our plan is the only responsible course of action at this time to prevent the possibility of a camp shutdown and displacement of families due to COVID-19. This will ensure the necessary key elements of family participation, camper interaction and safe visits to the Cooperstown area.
“All participants, coaches and campers 12 years and older must be immunized. Immunization requirements: COVID-19 (campers under 12 years of age are exempt, but must provide a negative test upon arrival), diphtheria, haemophilus influenza type b, hepatitis b, measles, mumps, rubella, poliomyelitis, tetanus and varicella a/k/a chickenpox. Cooperstown Dreams Park is hopeful that the vaccines will be available a minimum of twenty-one days prior to any registration date. Cooperstown Dreams Park will, if necessary modify registration date by registration date until a vaccine is available for 12 year olds and older.
“Registered visiting family members 12 years and older are required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination to gain entry. Visitors 11 years and younger must provide proof of a negative test result upon arrival. Unregistered visitors will not be permitted entry into Cooperstown Dreams Park. This season, we anticipate hundreds of communities will have the opportunity to experience Cooperstown Dreams Park, the Cooperstown area and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
“This is the first step toward a full reopening in 2022. Our plan will require that all camp participants and visiting registered family members comply with the New York State Department of Health and CDC regulations and guidelines.
“We appreciate your understanding and support as we navigate these ever changing times. Our staff is resilient and steadfast in its commitment to the 2021 season. Cooperstown Dreams Park will continue to plan and prepare the facility for the summer season.
“We look forward to your arrival and welcoming you to Cooperstown this summer.”