180 Covid-19 Cases Related to Youth Camp and Conference

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At least 180 coronavirus infections in three states have been traced to an Illinois youth camp and an affiliated men’s conference that did not require participants to be vaccinated or tested for the virus. Research It was released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There have been no deaths linked to the outbreak, but five of those infected require hospitalization, according to the CDC, which notes that all hospitalized are unvaccinated. Nearly 1,000 people in four states were eventually exposed to the virus by people attending two events that took place in mid-June.

expanding report, an earlier investigation It highlights the dangers of ignoring it, by the Illinois Department of Public Health. built-in safety guidelines For summer camps, business meetings, and religious gatherings during a pandemic that continues to ravage the United States.

As the Delta variant is causing significant increases in infections in many states, some public health officials have expressed concern about gate-protection measures for entry, such as large Labor Day gatherings without masks or proof of testing or vaccines.

More than 120 of those infected were camp and conference participants, and many of the others were members of their immediate homes, the researchers said in the report. Of the 180 infected, 29 were fully vaccinated against Covid-19, also known to epidemiologists as SARS-CoV-2.

“This research highlights the impact of secondary SARS-CoV-2 transmission during major events, such as camps and conferences, where Covid-19 prevention strategies, including vaccination, masking, physical distancing and screening testing, are not implemented,” the CDC’s report said. .

While coronavirus infections have affected youth camps across the country, those who adopted testing and masks for participants — and contact tracing and isolation for those infected — did much better than those who took a more liberal approach. number related to studies.

Sarah Patrick, acting epidemiologist for the state of Illinois, said the outbreak demonstrates the role children can play in the transmission of the virus and the importance of ensuring they are included in efforts to contain its spread.

“We learned that children, whom some thought could not easily spread the disease among each other, could actually be fire starters beyond their close contact and increasing community transmission,” he said.

PassageA non-denominational Christian group that organized a five-day youth camp and a two-day men’s conference did not ask participants to be vaccinated or tested, and did not require the wearing of masks during meetings.

“What to Bring” the camp’s website page It includes water shoes, sleeping bags, and the Bible, but makes no mention of masks. The campers were between the ages of 14 and 18, which made them eligible for the vaccine.

The phone number listed on the website for Crossing Camp was disconnected on Tuesday. Email and voicemail messages left by a reporter seeking comment at the church’s main office in Quincy, Illinois were not immediately returned.

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