Summer camps have been hit by the outbreak of COVID — what’s next for school? | Chicago News

Summer camps have been hit by the outbreak of COVID — what’s next for school? | Chicago News

In the United States, a series of summer camp-related COVID-19 outbreaks have been seen in recent weeks in locations such as Texas, Illinois, Florida, Missouri, and Kansas. I’m afraid this could be a preview for next year.

In some cases, outbreaks have spread from camps to a wider community.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States has reversed, with clusters occurring over the past two weeks, with an average daily increase of more than 60% from about 12,000 to about 19,500.

The rise in many places is due to too many unvaccinated people and the highly contagious delta mutant.

Gwenford, a 43-year-old science teacher from Adrian, Missouri, was cautiously optimistic when he enrolled his 12-year-old daughter in the West Central Christian Service Camp in Missouri, looking at the declining number of cases in the spring. did.

However, the day after she returned home for a week after playing in the camp pool, worshiping with friends, and banking in the dormitory, Ford received an email about the outbreak and her camp buddies were infected. I found out.

“And we said,’Oh, that’s what. This was someone you were pretty much around,” she recalled, adding that her daughter was ultimately negative. Ford said he was definitely planning to vaccinate his daughter. “It was very nerve-wracking. It finally seemed comfortable and it happened.”

A note posted on the camp’s Facebook page showed that the camp’s nurses and several faculty members and volunteers were among the infected. Camp staff did not reply for comment.

Joan Martin, the administrator of public health agencies around Pettis County, lamented that it was difficult for people to take the virus seriously and get vaccinated.

“It’s been a challenge since the first case,” she said. “You still have people who say it’s not real. Some people say it’s a cold. Some people say it’s a big deal. You have people who say it’s all a government conspiracy.”

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, said he wasn’t surprised at the outbreak as the camp was reopened this year after it was closed last summer. He said some camps were skeptical that they “thought out all the implications of camps during COVID.”

Ideally, camps require vaccinations for adults and campers of sufficient age, provide meals in shifts, reduce the number of young people in the cabin, and wear masks indoors for unvaccinated people. He said he would take other steps, such as demanding that he do so.

In the Houston area, health officials said more than 130 young people and adults had tested positive for the virus in a church camp-related incident involving hundreds of young people.

A pastor at Clear Creek Community Church in League City, Texas, said the outbreak happened in two waves. First in the camp, then when people returned home in late June to spread the virus to their families.

“In some cases, the whole family gets sick,” Rev. Bruce Wesley said on the church’s Facebook page.

Eighty-five teens and adults, including unvaccinated young adults admitted to a Christian youth camp in mid-June, are positive, and some in the camp are at a nearby meeting, according to Illinois health officials. Attended, and 11 more cases occurred.

The Illinois Public Health Service said all campers were eligible for the vaccine, but only “a handful” of campers and staff were vaccinated. According to the agency, the camp did not check vaccination status or require people to wear masks indoors.

The Department of Health in Leon County, Florida, including Tallahassee, tweeted this month that the increase in cases there was also partly related to the outbreak of summer camps.

And in Kansas, about 50 people were infected in an outbreak related to a church summer camp held not far from Wichita last month.

The situation is better elsewhere. Paul McEntire, Chief Operating Officer of YMCA in the United States, said that about 225 night camps and thousands of day camps run by the local YMCA were mostly open this summer, but capacity has declined slightly.

McEntire said he knows some cases of Y camps where people have been tested positive for the virus, but there are no examples of significant spread. He said many camps have taken precautionary measures, such as shifting, serving meals outside, and trying to keep young people in separate groups. Most need a mask indoors, but he admitted that it could be a challenge.

“Frankly, some parents don’t want to send their children unless masking is guaranteed to be used indoors,” he said. “Some people had the opposite view.”

Prior to the school year, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated guidance last week that vaccinated teachers and students do not need to wear internal masks and need to be 3 feet away from their desks to be fully vaccinated. Said not.

Dr. Michel Prickett, a lung and critical care specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, said the outbreak of summer camps “could certainly be a precursor” to what happens when young people return to the classroom in the fall. Said. She said the results depended on vaccination rates and which viral variants were prevalent.

“We need to be vigilant,” said Prickett.

Schaffner said schools are more structured, disciplined and more accustomed to making adjustments over the past year and a half than camps, so they do not believe they will face similar outbreaks. But he said the best way to reduce the risk is to vaccinate most people.

“There are many regions of the country that simply don’t know this,” he said.

The US COVID-19 vaccine is licensed for people up to the age of 12. It can take months for regulators to decide to approve injections in younger children. Research on young people under the age of 12 is still ongoing.

Ford, a teacher who barely escaped his daughter’s infection with COVID-19 at a summer camp in Missouri, is worried.

“In some cases, it’s on the rise, so I’m worried that I won’t be able to get back to normal, and I need to ask people for masks, etc.,” she said. It will be a big discussion. “

Summer camps have been hit by the outbreak of COVID — what’s next for school? | Chicago News

Source link Summer camps have been hit by the outbreak of COVID — what’s next for school? | Chicago News

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