A coronavirus outbreak was reported at an overnight summer camp in Georgia that did not require camps to wear face masks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study Friday on the outbreak, saying it shows children are susceptible to the virus and “play an important role in transmission.”
The camp, which the CDC has not named, has maintained an orientation for 120 staff members and more than 130 interns by mid-June, according to the Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report. Staff members stayed at the camp and on June 21 were joined by more than 360 camps aged 6 to 19 years.
A few days later, on June 23, a teenage staff member left after developing chills and later tested positive for coronavirus. The camp began sending people home the next day and notified the state Department of Public Health.
Among the children and staff tested for the virus, 260 returned positive, with 231 of them aged 17 or younger.
“Qualifications, such as multi-day overnight summer camps, pose a unique challenge when it comes to preventing the spread of infectious diseases, given the amount of time campers and staff members spend nearby,” the CDC said in a statement. for the press.
The health department recommended that everyone who participated in the camp be tested for the virus and self-quarantine. Those who tested positive were asked to isolate. The camp closed on June 27th.
According to the CDC, the camp had everyone submit documentation they had tested negative for the virus, but did not require campers to wear face masks. Only staff members had to wear masks.
The report also noted that campers slept in cabins and participated “in a range of indoor and outdoor activities, including singing and cheering daily.
“Asymptomatic infection was common and potentially contributed to undetected transmission, as previously reported,” the CDC report said. “This investigation adds to the body of evidence showing that children of all ages are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and, contrary to early reports, may play an important role in transmission.”
The CDC said in its press release that proper use of face masks, along with rigorous cleansing and social distancing, can help prevent the spread of the virus. These recommendations are included in the CDC’s recently issued guidelines for reopening schools, which has been under discussion as the White House calls for schools to be fully reopened.