260 sick at camp: CDC says children susceptible to COVID-19

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ATLANTA (NEXSTAR) — A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention details a large coronavirus outbreak at an overnight camp in Georgia that resulted in 260 sick campers and staffers. Researchers say this seems to indicate children are susceptible to COVID-19 and have the ability to spread it.

According to the report, the camp in question, which took place at the end of June, had staff wear masks but did not require campers utilize face coverings. The report attendees stayed in cabins and took part in both indoor and outdoor activities.

A teenage staff member was the first person to get sick. The staffer left the camp and tested positive the next day. At that point, officials started the process of closing the camp and requested everyone who attended be tested for coronavirus.

The CDC says nearly 600 people attended the camp. Of the 344 people whose test results were reviewed by the CDC, 260 (76%) were positive.

The report says the attack rate was 44% — and even higher for children aged 6-10 years (51%).

“These findings demonstrate 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,” the report details.

The document goes on to read, “this investigation adds to the body of evidence demonstrating that children of all ages are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and, contrary to early reports (5,6), might play an important role in transmission.”

The report says it’s likely regular singing and cheering contributed to the transmission.

The CDC urges the use of cloth masks and physical distancing to minimize transmission in group settings.

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