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A brand-new case report from the Centres for Illness Control and Avoidance contributes to the growing concern over how safe it will be to reopen schools during the existing pandemic. It details an outbreak of covid-19 at an overnight summer camp in Georgia this previous June, in which numerous kids of any ages and teenage staff members eventually tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
According to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the over night camp opened on June 17, following the state’s easing of restrictions on May 31 that allowed camps to run again. The camp started sending out kids home that day and closed the camp entirely by June27 On June 25, local health authorities and the CDC started examining the break out, recommending that every camp guest get tested and self-isolate for two weeks if positive.
Health officials were able to get info on the post-camp test outcomes of 344 people, or 58%of everybody who went to. Of these, over three-quarters (260 individuals) tested positive, with high rates of infection across every age group. Among kids ages 6 to 11 with known outcomes, 51%evaluated positive; as did 44%of those ages 11 to 17; and 33%of people ages 17 to 21.
It’s possible that a few of these individuals might have caught covid-19 somewhere besides the camp, either prior to or after they checked out. But that alone would not rationalize the very high infection rate among campers. And if anything, it’s probably an underestimate, considering that there’s information missing on around half of the people who existed.
The findings, the authors wrote, “show that SARS-CoV-2 spread effectively in a youth-centric over night setting, resulting in high attack rates among individuals in all age groups.”
Considered that schools– the most youth-centric settings around– are weeks far from opening up this fall, the implications of this camp outbreak are disconcerting, to state the least. What makes it scarier is that the camp seemed to be following most of the security guidelines recommended by the CDC for camps. These consisted of that everybody going to have an unfavorable test result no more than 12 days prior to getting in the camp; sanitizing often gone to areas and equipment; and encouraging distancing when possible.
Perhaps crucially, though, only employee were required to use masks, while the campers themselves weren’t, according to the report. The camp likewise didn’t seem to enhance their ventilation of buildings by leaving windows and doors open, as suggested. And the kids participated in both outside and indoor activities, including “daily vigorous singing and cheering.”
Kids stay at low risk for severe disease from covid-19, and the authors noted that many in this outbreak didn’t end up with signs. However this is just the most recent proof to suggest that kids can readily spread out the coronavirus. And that may not bode well for the lots of adults who work in schools, nor for those waiting in your home for their kids.