While similar groupings have occurred around funerals, weddings, teen parties, and adult gatherings throughout the covid-19 pandemic, several super-spreading events have been documented among children.
The report is sure to add fuel to an already polarizing nationwide debate if sending children back to crowded school buildings is risky, largely because so little data has been available on regarding children’s susceptibility to infection and their ability to transmit the virus.
Advocates of reopening schools for in-person instruction argue that early studies show that children are less prone to infection and severe outcomes from the virus than adults. As data continues to support that idea, little is known about the extent to which they can transmit it ̵1; especially when they show no symptoms.
According to the report released Friday, the outbreak at camp identified only as “Camp A” suggests that children “could play an important role in broadcasting”.
“These findings demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 spreads efficiently in a youth-centered environment at night, resulting in high levels of attack among people of all ages, despite efforts by camp officials to implement the best strategies.” recommended to prevent transmission, “the report said.
“Asymptomatic infection was common and potentially contributed to undetected transmission, as previously reported. This probe adds to the body of evidence showing that children of all ages are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. “
The CDC issued a separate statement with a headline on “the importance of CDC mitigation strategies” rather than on the implications of the incident on viral transmission to children. The statement noted that by not requiring camps to wear masks or leave booths, the camp had not followed the CDC’s reopening guidelines, and also cited “powerful daily singing and shouting” as potential contributing factors.
“Accurate and consistent use of laundry masks, strict cleaning and tidy cleaning, social distancing and frequent hand washing strategies, which are recommended in the CDC’s recently issued guidelines for reopening American schools , are essential to prevent the transmission of the virus in environments involving children and are our greatest tools to prevent covid-19, ”the statement said.
The authors of the report noted that the study was limited by the data set, which did not include all campers, and therefore more related cases could be missing. Moreover, since Georgia experienced a jump in covid-19 transmission over the summer, some camps may have caught the virus before arrival. The CDC report acknowledged that it could not determine who the campers were doing and did not adhere to the physical distance recommendations, which also limits the type of conclusions that can be drawn from the data.
The camp was opened in two phases, according to the report: An orientation for 138 interns and 120 staff took place June 17 to June 20. A total of 363 camps and three senior staff joined on June 21st. On June 23, a teenage staff left after developing chills and then tested positive for covid-19.
Camp officials began sending campers home on June 24 and closed the camp on the 27th.
Of those infected, 231 were aged 17 years or younger; 29 others were adults. Symptom data were available for only 136 patients: About a quarter, or 36 people, reported no symptoms; One hundred children and staff (74 percent) reported symptoms, including fever (65 percent), headache (61 percent), and sore throat (46 percent).