Coronavirus research updates: Summer-camp outbreak infects more than 200 children

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3 years ago

Despite measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, at least 250 campers and staff members tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 after attending an overnight camp in the US state of Georgia.

Christine Szablewski at the Georgia Department of Public Health in Atlanta and her colleagues investigated the outbreak, which began two days after the first campers’ arrival on 21 June (C. M. Szablewski et alMorb. Mortal. Wkly Rep; 2020). All campers and staff were required to test negative for the virus fewer than 13 days before arrival, and campers did not mix with those sleeping in other cabins. Campers were not required to wear masks.

The researchers found that nearly 100 staff members — many of them teenagers — tested positive in the two weeks after leaving camp. So did 168 campers, including half of those aged between 6 and 10. Factors contributing to the outbreak included the large number of campers sleeping in each cabin and what the researchers describe as “daily vigorous singing and cheering”.

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