Summer camp in Georgia had over 250 covid cases after just 10 days

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A YMCA non-socially distanced no-mask required sleepaway camp in Georgia with 600 staff and children had to shut down after a staffer developed coronavirus. It was open for just ten days total. Just two weeks after the camp closed, there was a whopping 76% positive rate among the campers and staff tested, with a total of 260 positive cases. Those are just the results that are now available, there are probably more. What’s more is that campers were required to show a negative test result within the last 12 days before they could attend.

Nearly 600 young campers and counselors attended the camp in late June, and of the 344 who were tested for COVID-19, 76% tested positive by mid-July. Three-quarters of the COVID-19 cases for which information was available involved symptoms, including sore throat, headache and fever.

The camp opened for staff on June 17 and kids started arriving four days later. The first known case involved a teen camp staff member who developed chills on June 23 and tested positive for COVID-19 the next day.

After that, the camp was quickly disbanded and it closed on June 27.

Campers, who averaged 12 years of age, hadn’t been required to wear masks although camp staff wore masks, the researchers said.

There was also a “variety of indoor and outdoor activities, including daily vigorous singing and cheering” — prime activities for the spread of breath droplets laden with coronavirus.

Campers were also housed closely together — 15 to a cabin, on average — according to a team led by Christine Szablewski, of the Georgia Department of Public Health. Among the 31 cabins, the COVID-19 infection rate averaged 50%.

[From WebMD]

I was watching a Good Morning America report on this and they interviewed a mom who sent her two kids who said she would not have done it differently! (That’s at 1 minute into this video.) She said “it is a virus and we can’t prevent it.” Yes you can dumbass, don’t hang out with people, keep socially distancing, wear masks and wash your hands. Her kids tested negative, but would she be saying this if her kids were deathly ill?

A lot of outlets are saying this is a test run for schools opening. We already saw what happened in Indiana. My son’s school is conducting in-person classes twice a week on an alternate schedule based on last name. While some of their documentation says masks are required, we received an automated phone message that said they are “recommended” and that it would be up to the teachers. This is asinine and he’s going to be studying from home. We are lucky he’s old enough to do that, that I work from home and frankly, that I have a job. This all could have turned out differently if the US just gone into lockdown and required mask wearing.

They had great plans:

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Many months of prayer and preparation came to fruition yesterday! We have sanitized EVERYTHING, implemented all new procedures and prepared our staff for the safest summer yet. Campers will now move in the same, small cohorts throughout camp the entire week. They’ll eat in shifts and have separate assemblies. They’ll wash hands at every stop and will get temperatures taken each day. Things will look different, but it’s such an incredible blessing to be able to be here and serve our loyal camp families. We are so appreciative of everyone who stuck with us and stuck with the Y! We hope you have a safe and joyous summer, whether you’re with us this year at camp, or resting and relaxing at home. 🙌🏽

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Here we go! 🤞🏽

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47 Responses to “Summer camp in Georgia had over 250 covid cases after just 10 days”

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  1. lanne says:

    I’m going to school this morning. We’re on planning week and our meetings are over zoom, but we still have to go in. I’m absolutely dreading it. I can barely get out of bed. I think I’m having a panic attack. I don’t know what to do.

    • Lindy says:

      I’m so sorry that you’re in this position. I think it’s criminally negligent to force teachers back to school. The fact that we’re in this position is a result of the utter failures of our federal government (and in red states, of our state government). I truly hate that you’re being forced back Lanne.

      I’m not a teacher but I’m a parent and I’ve been signing petitions and writing letters and calling. I got in touch with our local teachers’ union and am getting other parents to stand with teachers and their demands.

      • Dazed and Confused says:

        Thank you so much for this, Lindy. It means a lot that some parents understand how dangerous in-person school will be.

        I have a meeting this morning on Zoom and don’t go back in person until Aug 24. But we are hashing out how things will look different and it has me so panicked. Teachers will be helping take temperatures as kids enter the building. Instead of minimizing the number of students that teachers will be exposed to – we will end up being in contact with almost all of them. We have about 700 kids in my building. The district is providing us with 2 cloth masks and putting a plexiglass shield on our desks. That’s all they are doing for PPE.

      • lanne says:

        Thank you for all the work you’re doing on behalf of teachers! I just emailed my department head and told her I wasn’t coming in. I sat in my car crying, then I realized it was time for the meeting, so I went inside and turned on Zoom.

    • Lindy says:

      It feels like the bare minimum I can do as a parent. It’s like we expect teachers and schools to be the backstop for everything that makes our economy chug along but don’t want to fund them or pay them accordingly.

      Sending good thoughts and solidity. To teachers and also to other parents, because I’m not going to lie–trying to work full time with a toddler and a 6th grader at home has me burnt to a crisp. And other parents have it much worse–they can’t work from home and have no childcare.

      It’s not that I’m not sympathetic with those parents. It’s that I don’t believe teachers and staff and students should pay the price 45’s criminal ineptitude. Pay people to stay home with their kids, focus energy on stamping out the virus, and stop blaming teachers or calling them lazy when the cause of the problem has nothing to do with teachers.

    • Cheri says:

      I’m so sorry. Sending good thoughts to you and your colleagues.

      My district is doing distance learning only. Fingers crossed that we can get through this.

  2. SJR says:

    Is anyone surprised?
    Some days I am still amazed at legal Adults that are living in their own reality.
    Stay.At.Home. Geez.

    • Anne Call says:

      That mother is all the people that voted for an incompetent racist sexual assaulting tv reality star over a smart women with years of experience in the government and foreign affairs. The Republican Party has created a couple of generations of moronic anti science gun toting bible thumping citizens that are a national and international embarrassment.

  3. Alexandria says:

    I mean…what else is there to say.

  4. Allie says:

    What is so hard about just NOT going on vacation or taking part in summer camps or anything like that for a year? 2020 is the year of WTF, just deal with it and stay home.

    • Case says:

      I can’t believe how many people I know that took a vacation this year. The only thing I’ve heard that sounded rational was road tripping to national parks where you can distance from people. It stuns me how many were completely unwilling to just give up their plans for A YEAR. Stay home! You’ll be safe and save some money, too!

    • Christin says:

      People I work with think a vacation and social activities are a necessity. We have 25 percent of our employees working remotely, but those of us having to come to the building have to endure others’ questionable behaviors. There are still some people eating lunch shoulder to shoulder in the dining room!

      I have come to accept that what I can control is wearing my mask and staying at least six feet away from anyone. Assume everyone is infected.

      • Sarah says:

        This is the approach i take, I assume everyone around me is infected and behave accordingly. You can only control your own behaviour.

    • Sarah says:

      Would I like to have been on holiday this summer? Of course I would, we had a great trip planned. Do I accept that there is a global pandemic raging infecting millions and killing hundreds of thousands and therefore I will have to change my plans? YES OF COURSE.

    • MaryContrary says:

      My 22 year old daughter and I have deleted all of our social media accounts because seeing almost everyone we know (and these are people who wear masks, are liberal democrats and “get” that this is a serious pandemic) are still going on vacation and hanging out together depresses and enrages us.

    • Swack says:

      My daughter, her two kids and I rented an Airbnb in Long Beach, Mississippi. We drove. We went only to the beach, and it was empty – us and about two other families there. We brought food with us, had some delivered and 3 times ordered out and dined in. We had originally planned other activities and cancelled them, including going to NOLA force days and doing a swamp tour. That being said I moved my planned Disney World trip to Feb 2021 hoping for things to calm down by then. But nope, cancelled it today and hope to plan one for next Sept. I have one grandchild left to take and will do it but when it is safe.

    • Rhys says:

      I’m thinking the same – how is a vacation so absolutely necessary that you cannot put it on hold until safer, more convenient time?

    • Zengirl says:

      Agree with all here. We had reservations for our first vacation in 3 years. Cancelled it. The kids also go to summer camp for 1 week each year. I look forward to this like it is air! And so do they, but cancelled. I think everyone in the US has gotten so selfish overall, and we feel so entitled to all the good things we normally have that we have taken for granted. There are a group who have been unable to make peace with that (same folks who feel put upon when they have to wear masks). This is just the year that we all have to give things up for our and others’ safety. Not that hard when you look at the consequences.

  5. Case says:

    I see these headlines and all I can conjure is “duh.” There are some activities we can adapt for life with a pandemic, but summer camp isn’t one of them (and by the sounds of it they didn’t even TRY — no masks required, really?)

    Some people act like since stay-at-home orders have been lifted that means it is safe to resume normal life. Use common sense! My life is still pretty much the same as it was in April and that’s a-ok with me because I’m staying safe.

  6. Marjorie says:

    Viruses don’t notice prayers.

  7. Christin says:

    Exceptions to gathering limits in some states are puzzling. Churches, weddings, funerals, and apparently camps are exempted from maximums in some areas.

    Do people really think the virus will stay away from a crowd of people because it’s a kiddie camp or a wedding? The lack of common sense and concern for others is frustrating.

  8. Sarah says:

    Well PHEW, we finally know what happens if people don’t distance and don’t wear masks. if only we’d had this information available sooner. Oh wait…

    Now I just hope that all those infected people and all the others they in turn infect don’t have to deal with too many of the awful issues that go with this virus in the short and longer term and that no-one dies as a result of their actions.

  9. M says:

    My province in Canada has just released the fall 2020 measures for returning to classes. 100% of students will return, no new social distancing measures, no masks. What the actual hell?

    My best friend is a pregnant teacher and this is just a mess. My guess is that in the first week of classes alone maybe 3-10 schools will have to largely shut down, and the whole province (and the country) will soon have to revert back to a last minute online move which will be complete shambles much like when the virus first appeared. Instead of just actually making a plan now. Schools going back are going to be the messiest part of this whole thing.

  10. Scal says:

    And then you have all the photos and videos coming out of Georgia schools yesterday and I just can’t. All those high schoolers close together everywhere not wearing masks. This is just going to keep happening as schools open-I’m so afraid for teachers/parents/grandparents

    • ME says:

      Be afraid for everyone. Some of those teens have part-time jobs in grocery stores or fast food places. This is all just so insane. Those pics of inside some of those high schools was enraging. You’d think those pics were taken pre-pandemic !

    • Zengirl says:

      It’s nuts. In my area, we have a 100% mask requirement when you are out of your house. Most stores are enforcing somewhat. But everywhere else, like parks etc, the wear rate is about 30% at best, and the majority not masking are the young people, high school and college ages, and they are gathering at parks in large groups, playing sports, volleyball, hanging out talking against our gathering guidelines (too many and no social distancing) and with no masks, every day. Food trucks have been coming out to make some money and the whole things is like mini-festivals of germy young people day in and day out. Argh.

  11. bee says:

    Hello from Melbourne Australia, where we’ve been on lockdown of some type or other since March. Things were well under control, until some stupid people spread the virus into the community. On Sunday we entered stage 4 lockdown as a result – curfew from 8pm, retail and non-essential manufacturing closed down (hospo and sports etc has been closed the whole time), and can only leave the house for 1 hour a day unless you’re an essential worker (masks compulsory).

    This is in response to 162 deaths (population 6.3 million). Yeh it’s annoying but people are doing it, because that’s what it will take. We simply cannot understand what’s happening in the US.

    • Annabel says:

      Hello from New York City, coronavirus death toll 23,027 in a population of 8.5 million. Rational Americans simply cannot understand what’s happening in the United States either. It’s devastating.

      It’s devastating to realize that because of the self-centred stupidity of way too many of my fellow Americans, it’s going to be probably another year until I can safely travel to visit my family in western Canada. The question my husband and I ask ourselves every day is at what point we should cut our losses and emigrate. We love this city but this country is a nightmare.

      • Grant says:

        I have never checked the /GetOut subreddit more than I have within the past two months so I share your sentiments on, well, getting the F out of this country.

    • Scal says:

      I saw that and that’s the way to do it. But no where in America from the biggest city to the smallest town would people listen to that. Freedom and constitution etc etc 🙄

      I can’t imagine what all these people would have done during ww2 with rationing of sugar of gas or power or fabrics

      • Zengirl says:

        This is what I think of exactly. People in the past have suffered far worse than this in bombing raids, wars, etc.. Can you imagine them saying, well, my mental health is suffering so I need to go run around the streets a bit? Never mind the bombs or anything. I think we should be able to handle what we’re being asked to do with quarantining, masking – at least you would think so.

        As I am writing this, an ambulance is going by. So many ambulances lately.

  12. MaryContrary says:

    I recommend the Atlantic’s article “How the Pandemic Defeated America.” Have a large drink and potentially tissues to sob/rage from the horror that is the US.

  13. ME says:

    So much stupidity. Who the hell thought this was a good idea? Same as the morons that went on the cruise ship in Norway last week and now 45 people on that ship have the virus. Why are humans so f*cking stupid and selfish? It’s infuriating.

    • Zengirl says:

      My tweenager told me last week that he thinks humans are so stupid, that maybe we need to be wiped out. So depressing, but has some truth in it. What sort of a world we are leaving to the young people?

  14. Chickaletta says:

    The local school district just had a meeting to say they might reopen for face to face, but it would depend on viral growth. Frankly, it isn’t likely.

    Sooooo many people argued that children needed to get back to school and “normalcy”, that the virus is all just fake news, that the schools needed to refund their tax dollars, etc. Like wearing a mask all day, not being allowed to leave your classroom or touch your friends is going to be “normal”. Like this has been going on for years instead of like five months.

    .. … I can’t even.

    • SomeChick says:

      Huh. Comment I thought I was responding to seems to have disappeared.

      I’m back to being as terrified as I was at the beginning of the year. And especially for my friends who are teachers or have kids in school. It’s madness. And we are experimenting with people’s lives.

  15. Christine says:

    Until we get Joe Biden as president and remove every single republican we will remain in covid hell. Unfortunately a whole lot of people will be dead before next January. This is so depressing. It’s so wrong to force teachers to work in unsafe conditions and strap children with possible lifetime of health issues.

    • Tanya says:

      Unfortunately, I think you’re right. January inauguration + 6 weeks of real lockdown = we may be where Europe is now in March 2021.

    • Case says:

      I think you’re right. And my heart can’t even take the thought of what will happen to us if Biden doesn’t win. I am so, so scared.

    • Kosmos says:

      AGREED….we need Joe and his VP, which will either be Kamala or Susan, but we need them NOW. I’ve felt so insecure with T being in office ugh… will be a sign of relief to finally have a real human being in office, and someone we can trust.

  16. Kim says:

    I think my district is afraid to tell parents remote learning is the only possibility, as our county’s positivity rate is at 18%. They won’t make a decision and provide guidance for how they want us to deliver instruction. Teachers are completely capable of providing a solid online education. I’ve taught literally thousands of online classes as a second job. That is not what parents want most. They want childcare. While I understand the school structure provides nutrition and things beyond education, I was hired to educate kids. I can effectively do that online from the safely of my home during the pandemic.

  17. Grant says:

    “Many months of prayer…” Barf. My mother is a god-fearing Christian and proud Democrat, and she has the good sense to know that it takes prayer AND ACTION to stop the spread of this disease. I can’t believe parents let their children go to this sleepaway camp in the midst of a pandemic.

  18. Esmom says:

    My college aged son is staying remote for fall and I am floored by all the parents On FB more worried about dorm decor as if this will be in any way a normal school year. And then shaming anyone who expresses concern about Covid as “giving into fear.” It’s starting to enrage me, that we have so many people unwilling to take this seriously.

  19. Lizzie says:

    Two reasons I am infuriated. The politicians do not care about your kids, they are trying to get parents off unemployment. Second, the phrase ‘nothing can be done about it’ just means ‘I am going to do nothing’.
    Old joke about an old man when the river rises behind his house. The fire department come to rescue him but he won’t leave, says God will save him. The river rises and they come in a boat for him but he won’t leave, says God will save him. The river rises more and he is on the roof of his house and they send a helicopter but he won’t leave, says God will save him. After he drowns he asks God why he didn’t save him. God says ‘I sent you a the fire department, a boat and a helicopter why didn’t you accept my help’.
    Maybe God has sent us these tools like science to teach us that masks and distancing will help keep us safe. Maybe not but I am so sick and tired of holier than thou folks turning their noses up at masks.

  20. jferber says:

    I saw pics of Georgian high school kids mask-less in hella crowded halls, packed like sardines, on their first day back. It’s good President Carter, at 95, is staying indoors these days, because his fellow Georgians have gone stark fucking mad, due to their ass-kissing, murdering governor, who, after all this, will be criticized by Trump and disowned by his devilishly tricky ally. Georgia, God help you. Really. Stay home and let the governor be damned. You know he’s protecting himself and his own family.

  21. Jay says:

    So…all the campers just went directly home, taking the virus with them to their older siblings, parents, grandparents and all of their friends? Cooool.
    From what I’ve read, testing negative one day two weeks ago means squat, anyway.