Coronavirus: COVID-19 outbreak at upstate NY summer camp sickens 31 kids

COPAKE, N.Y. — More than 100 children attending Camp Pontiac in upstate New York have been sent home after a COVID-19 outbreak sickened at least 31 of the facility’s 550 campers, multiple media outlets reported.

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The 7-week overnight camp, which opened for the summer at the end of June, informed parents of the outbreak last week, noting that those contracting the coronavirus appeared to all fall between the ages of 7 and 11, an age group not yet eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, WNYW reported.

Columbia County Health Director Jack Mabb confirmed to The New York Times that none of the confirmed COVID-19 cases among campers appears to be severe.

Infected campers who live in the state were sent home, those from out of state are isolating at the camp and roughly 65 other campers who were in contact with those infected have been sent home to quarantine but are expected to return after two weeks, Mabb told the Times Union.

Meanwhile Mabb told WNYW that he believes camp officials followed COVID-19 guidance issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and took all appropriate precautions to prevent an outbreak.

“The kids have to have a negative test to be considered to come to camp. They get to camp, and an outside agency comes in to test all the campers when they first get there. But let’s say you had a kid who had an exposure the day before or the day of arriving at camp. It takes three to five days for the virus to percolate,” Mabb told the TV station.

According to the Times Union, the outbreak comes as 57% of Columbia County’s population over the age of 12 has been fully vaccinated, slightly higher than the state average of 56%.

Meanwhile, more than 130 people in a Houston church camp and another 85 in an Illinois camp have tested positive for the virus, while Missouri, Kansas and Florida have all reported outbreaks linked to summer camps, the newspaper reported.

It was not immediately known if the delta variant is responsible for any of the Camp Pontiac cases, WNYW reported.

Read more here and here.

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