Rapid Spread in US Summer Camp
Rapid Spread of Coronavirus Raises Alarms
Posted on 06.08.2020
After just four days, camp shuts; 76% of attendees tested were positive
The US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention issued a troubling report yesterday (August 2, 2020) on transmission of the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19 at a summer camp in Georgia, USA.
Six hundred twenty four persons–363 campers, and 261 trainees and staff—were at the camp. Seventy-six percent of the 344 attendees for whom test results were available tested positive. Those who were at camp longer—staff who were part of pre-session training—had a higher infection rate.
The camp had followed the Georgia Executive Order requiring staff and campers of overnight camps to provide documentation of a negative SARS-COv-2 test within the last 12 days.
However, the camp did not follow all the CDC’s Suggestions for Youth & Summer Camps], though most were implemented. The camp did not follow the recommendations to have campers wear masks and open windows and doors for increased indoor ventilation, where they engaged in daily vigorous singing and cheering. The camp, however, did group (cohort) attendees by cabin, stagger use of communal spaces by cohort groups, practice physical distancing outside of cabin cohorts, and enhance cleaning and disinfection, particularly of shared equipment and spaces.
Implications for Outdoor Programs
Take it seriously. No, really seriously.
A dangerous infection blazing through an outdoor program run by a long-standing and well-respected nonprofit that followed many official safety recommendations is of great concern. The safety measures that were put in place were clearly inadequate. This suggests we should strictly follow the best authoritative guidance available, including CDC guidelines, and recognize that going beyond current recommendations may even be required … read more
Rays of Hope
While the pandemic continues to rage in the USA, we know that other countries have fared much better. New Zealand and Taiwan, for instance, took the right steps, right away. The virus is, overall, well-controlled in those countries, at this time—and outdoor programs have resumed, with participants on ropes courses, hiking, on the water and more … read more
One of the elements of the pandemic that has been uplifting to see is how individuals have come together—across organizations, across nations, throughout the field of outdoor professions—to share innovative ideas, find support, and build a new way forward.
See also: Outdoor Programs in the Time of Coronavirus: Guidance for Leaders (Viristar)
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