COVID Outbreak at Illinois Summer Camp Linked to More Than 85 Cases

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Yahoo Entertainment 29 June, 2021 - 11:41am 47 views

Church Camp Linked To 2 COVID-19 Superspreader Events

Patch.com 28 June, 2021 - 03:22pm

RUSHVILLE, IL — A recent outbreak of COVID-19 has been linked to teen campers and staff members at an Illinois church camp in early June, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Of the nearly 85 people who contracted the virus, one was hospitalized.

The health department said the outbreak was due to a low vaccination rate at the overnight summer camp where only a "handful" of the residents reported being vaccinated, the state health department said in a news release. The camp also did not require staff or campers to wear masks.

State health officials did not name the camp, but a Pike County Health Department release said a COVID-19 outbreak in the area was due to at least 50 confirmed cases at Crossing Camp in Rushville. That number later grew as some members of the camp traveled to a nearby conference, exposing more people.

"The majority of the 85 COVID-19 cases associated with the youth camp are among teens," said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. "The perceived risk to children may seem small, but even a mild case of COVID-19 can cause long-term health issues. Additionally, infected youth who may not experience severe illness can still spread the virus to others, including those who are too young to be vaccinated or those who don't build the strong expected immune response to the vaccine."

Schuyler and Adams counties, where the camp and conference were located, have a 40 percent vaccination rate among their populations. Local health officials said 70 percent of those who contracted COVID-19 in the latest outbreak were not vaccinated.

The camp made a statement postponing the next summer session, which is advertised to 9-11 year olds.

"Due to a recent outbreak of COVID-19 related to Student Camp June 13-17, we have made the difficult decision to postpone our 4th & 5th grade Crossing Camp," the website statement said. "We were so looking forward to spending time with your campers this weekend, but we believe the best way to value and love our students, difference makers and staff is to delay camp until a safer time."

The state health department said it is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to request those who contracted the coronavirus at either events submit samples to test for the delta variant.

Crossing Camp is affiliated with The Crossing, a large nondenominational Christian church with locations in three states. Its four-day youth camp was designed for eighth graders and high school students. The camp ran from June 13-17, while the conference where infections were also recorded ran from June 18-19.

A packing list on the organization's site requires items like sunscreen, modest swimsuits and a "Bible, of course!" but does not require masks.

Representatives from The Crossing did not immediately respond to Patch's inquiries.

Though Illinois reopened in early June after a year of strict public health protocols, health officials still advise those who aren't vaccinated, such as children, to wear a mask while indoors.

COVID-19 spreads at Illinois youth summer camp

KTVI Fox 2 St. Louis 28 June, 2021 - 03:07pm

FILE – This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the spherical coronavirus particles from what was believed to be the first U.S. case of COVID-19. A new analysis of blood samples from 24,000 Americans taken early last year is the latest and largest study to suggest that the coronavirus popped up in the U.S. in December 2019 — weeks before cases were first recognized by health officials. (C.S. Goldsmith, A. Tamin/CDC via AP)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A total of 85 teens and staff have tested positive for COVID-19 at a central Illinois summer camp that was held in mid-June.   

One unvaccinated, young adult was hospitalized, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). About a handful of campers and staff had received the vaccine. 

There were no indoor mask requirements at the camp and camp officials did not check vaccination statuses.  

Some people from the camp also attended a nearby conference, which resulted in 11 additional cases, according to IDPH. Approximately 70 percent of those people were unvaccinated.   

IDPH officials want to remind people about the importance of vaccinations, including youth, as COVID-19 variants such as Delta continue to spread. 

“The majority of the 85 COVID-19 cases associated with the youth camp are among teens,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement.   

“The perceived risk to children may seem small, but even a mild case of COVID-19 can cause long-term health issues.”  

Ezike added that, “Infected youth who may not experience severe illness can still spread the virus to others, including those who are too young to be vaccinated or those who don’t build the strong expected immune response to the vaccine.” 

IDPH is assisting local health departments involved in the youth camp and conference outbreaks, as well as working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Testing is being done to determine if any of the cases were caused by variants. 

Information on COVID-19 vaccinations can be found here.  CDC guidance, adopted by IDPH, on operating youth camps can be found here.  

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COVID-19 outbreak traced to camp

Daily Herald 28 June, 2021 - 12:00am

Nearly 100 COVID-19 cases have resulted from an outbreak at a summer youth camp in west central Illinois, mostly involving unvaccinated people, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported Monday.

So far, 85 campers and adult staff members with Crossing Camp in Rushville have contracted the virus. Eleven additional COVID-19 cases occurred when a couple of camp participants attended a conference nearby in mid-June.

All campers and adults were eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations, but "only a handful" got shots, the IDPH said.

Organizers at the camp, in Schuyler County, did not check if participants or staff members were vaccinated, and masks were not required for indoor activities, the IDPH reported.

Crossing Camp administrators did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Herald on Monday.

The news comes as concerns rise about the highly infectious Delta strain of COVID-19, which makes up more than 20% of new cases in the U.S., federal experts said.

The majority of people infected in Rushville were campers, IDPH Director Ngozi Ezike said, and one teenager was hospitalized.

"The perceived risk to children may seem small, but even a mild case of COVID-19 can still cause long-term health issues," Ezike said in a statement. "Infected youth, who may not experience severe illness, can still spread the virus to others, including those who are too young to be vaccinated or those who don't build the strong, expected immune response to the vaccine."

On Friday, the state initially reported more than 50 camp-related infections. The exposures occurred June 13-17.

"It's an example of a community with low vaccination rates and not following social distancing and masking, and that's where you see the outbreak," said Dr. Jonathan Pinsky, Edward Hospital's medical director of infection control and prevention.

The IDPH plans tests to trace if any of the cases were caused by variants.

The Delta variant is 60% more contagious than the highly transmissible Alpha strain that originated in the United Kingdom, Pinsky said. The Alpha variant is the most common one across the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control said.

COVID-19 vaccines have not been approved yet for children 11 and younger, which is why it's crucial for kids to mask and social distance when indoors with the pandemic still a threat, CDC experts said.

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