HUNDREDS of campers and staff members at a sleepaway camp in Georgia have tested positive for coronavirus, according to federal health officials.
In a report released on Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 260 people were confirmed to have the virus.
The CDC said that while masks were required for staff members, they weren’t for kids.
The report doesn’t specify which camp experience the outbreak, but WSB-TV reported they confirmed it was about YMCA Camp High Harbour at Lake Burton in Rabun County.
In total, 597 kids, staff members, and trainees were at the camp and 344 people were tested.
The CDC said the percentage of campers infected was higher among younger kids than older kids, and was also higher for kids who were at the camp for longer periods of time.
Most of the positive virus tests, per the report, were among children ages six to 10.
Officials recorded information about symptoms for only 136 kids. Of those, 100 reported symptoms — mostly having a fever, headache, and sore throat.
Georgia summer camps were allowed to open on May 31, despite the pandemic, according to an executive order from Republican Governor Brian Kemp.
According to WSB-TV, all campers and staffers at the YMCA were required to test negative for the virus before attending the camp.
The station reported on June 24 that a teenage counselor at the camp tested positive for coronavirus after they previously tested negative.
That day, the camp began sending campers home and closed the camp on June 27.
YMCA Camp High Harbour at Lake Burton confirmed on its website that the camp was now closed.
“Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, we have made the careful decision to Close YMCA Camp High Harbour for summer 2020.”
The CDC’s report stated the outbreak at the camp shows “that SARS-CoV-2 spread efficiently in a youth-centric overnight setting, resulting in high attack rates among persons in all age groups, despite efforts by camp officials to implement most recommended strategies to prevent transmission.”
Health officials said the “multiple measures adopted by the camp were not sufficient to prevent an outbreak.”
They added that large groups of people “sleeping in the same cabin and engaging in regular singing and cheering likely contributed to transmission.”
The YMCA of Metro Atlanta told news outlets in a statement: “Attending Camp High Harbour is a tradition numerous generations of Y families look forward to every summer.”
“Many of these individuals reached out to the Y to express their desire for us to open our resident camps in an effort to create normalcy in their children’s lives due to the detrimental impact of COVID-19.
“This weighed heavily in our decision to open, a decision in retrospect we now regret.”
As of Saturday, Georgia reported more than 190,000 coronavirus infections and 3,825 virus-related deaths.