While similar clusters occurred around funerals, weddings, teen parties, and adult gatherings throughout the covid-19 pandemic, there are few documented outreach events among children.
The report is true that it adds fuel to a discussion that is already polarizing nationwide about whether sending children back to crowded school buildings is worth the risk, in large part because little information is available about children’s vulnerability to infection and its ability to transmit the virus. .
Proponents of reopening schools for face-to-face instruction argue that early research shows that children are less prone to infection and severe virus outcomes than adults. While the data continue to support this idea, little has been known about the extent to which they could transmit it, especially when they show no symptoms.
According to the report released Friday, the outbreak at the camp identified only as “Camp A”; suggests that children “could play an important role in the transmission.”
“These findings show that SARS-CoV-2 spread effectively in a youth-centered overnight environment, resulting in high rates of attack among people of all age groups, despite the efforts of officials. of the field to implement the most recommended strategies to prevent transmission, ”the report said. .
“Asymptomatic infection was common and potentially contributed to undetected transmission, as previously reported. This research is in addition to the body of evidence showing that children of all ages are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. “
The CDC issued a separate statement with a headline on “the importance of CDC mitigation strategies,” rather than on the implications of the incident on viral transmission in children. The statement noted that by not requiring campers to wear masks or issue booths, the camp had not followed CDC reopening guidelines, and also noted “singing and shouting vigorously every day” as possible contributing factors.
“The correct and consistent use of cloth masks, rigorous cleaning and sanitation, social distancing, and frequent handwashing strategies, which are recommended in CDC’s recently published guidelines for reopening U.S. schools, are crucial to avoiding transmission of the virus in environments involving children and are our best tools to prevent covid-19, ”the statement reads.
The authors of the report noted that the study was limited by its data set, which did not include all campers, and therefore more related cases may be missing. Also, because Georgia experienced a jump in covid-19 transmission over the summer, some champions may have caught the virus before it arrived. The CDC report acknowledged that it was unable to determine what campers did and that it did not comply with the physical distancing recommendations, which also limits the type of conclusions that can be drawn from the data.
The camp had opened in two phases: on June 17 to June 20, an orientation was held for 138 trainers and 120 employees, to which 363 campers and three senior employees joined on June 21. On June 23, a teenage staff left after developing chills and subsequently tested positive for covid-19.
Camp officials began sending campers home on June 24 and closed the camp on June 27.
Of those infected, 231 were 17 years of age or younger; the remaining 29 were adults. There were only data on symptoms for 136 patients: about a quarter, or 36 people, had no symptoms; One hundred children and staff (74 percent) reported symptoms, including fever (65%), headache (61%), and sore throat (46%).