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CDC: Hundreds of kids infected with coronavirus within days at overnight camp

CDC: Hundreds of kids infected with coronavirus within days at overnight camp
Posted at 4:46 PM, Jul 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-31 17:03:50-04

More than 40 percent of attendees at an overnight summer camp became infected with Covid-19 within days before officials shut it down, according to the CDC.

Local media reports it was a YMCA camp near a lake in Rabun County, Georgia.

More than 260 staff and campers tested positive for the coronavirus, out of a total 597 people who were at the camp sometime between when it opened and when it closed in mid-June. Of the 260 who tested positive, 231 were campers aged 6 to 17 years old.

In their report published Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says camp officials followed most of their recommended safety protocols. They say the two measures not implemented were cloth masks for campers and opening windows and doors for increased ventilation in buildings. Masks were required for staff members.

The camp held orientation for staff members and trainees between June 17 to 21, then were joined by hundreds of kids on June 21 for a week-long camp session.

On June 23, a teen staff member left the camp after developing chills the night before. They tested positive for Covid-19, and the camp began sending kids home on June 24. The entire camp was closed June 27.

The camp was adhering to Georgia’s Executive Order that allowed overnight camps and required negative coronavirus tests less than 11 days before attending.

“These findings demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 spread efficiently in a youth-centric overnight setting, resulting in high attack rates among persons in all age groups, despite efforts by camp officials to implement most recommended strategies to prevent transmission,” says the CDC report on this outbreak.

From the 136 cases where the CDC was able to gather symptom data, about 26 percent of those who tested positive for coronavirus had no symptoms at the time.