In an overnight summer camp in Georgia, a coronavirus outbreak was reported in which campers were not required to wear face masks.
The disease control and prevention centers released a study of the outbreak on Friday, which found that children are susceptible to the virus and “play an important role in transmission”.
The camp, which the CDC did not name, was targeted for 120 employees and more than 130 trainees in mid-June, according to its weekly report on morbidity and mortality. The staff stayed at the camp and on June 21, more than 360 campers aged 6 to 1
Days later, on June 23, a young employee left the company after developing chills and was later tested positive for the corona virus. The camp started sending people home the next day and alerted the state health ministry.
Of the children and staff who tested for the virus, 260 were positive, 231 of whom were 17 years old or younger.
“Attitudes such as overnight summer camps over night pose a unique challenge when it comes to preventing the spread of infectious diseases, considering how much time campers and employees spend nearby,” a CDC press release said.
The health department recommended that all camp participants be tested for viruses and self-quarantine. Those who tested positive were asked to isolate. The camp was closed on June 27th.
According to the CDC, the camp had all documents submitted that they tested negative for the virus, but campers did not have to wear face masks. Only employees had to wear masks.
The report also found that campers slept in huts and “participated in a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, including vigorous singing and cheering every day.”
“Asymptomatic infection has been common and may have contributed to undetected transmission, as has been reported,” the CDC report said. “This study complements the extensive evidence that children of all ages are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infections and, contrary to previous reports, could play an important role in transmission.”
The CDC said in its press release that proper use of face masks, along with rigorous cleaning and social distance, can help prevent the virus from spreading. These recommendations are included in the recently released CDC Guidelines for School Reopening, which are under debate as the White House calls for schools to reopen.