Sleepaway camp in New York says 31 campers under 12 have tested positive for Covid-19
Camp Pontiac, located in Quebec, New York, about a two-hour drive from New York City, said in a letter to parents that it received its first positive test result on July 16. Then the virus spread further.
“The initial outbreak was on the girls’ side, but the latest new cases were on the boys’ side,” Jack Mapp, the District of Columbia health director, said in an email to CNN Thursday. “The bulk of the cases came as a result of testing done on symptomatic campers at the end of last week.”
He said that all but a few positive cases were sent home from the camp, along with 88 contacts. The few who have not been sent home, he said, “live too far away to go home easily”.
Camp Pontiac has 550 campers on campus; Half of those are between the ages of 7 and 11, and half are between 12 and 17 years old, Mapp says.
He said none of Camp 12 or older had tested positive for Covid-19, as all but four had been vaccinated. He added that there are 275 staff in the camp and less than 10 have not been vaccinated.
On the recommendation of the state health department, camp Pontiac is testing all non-vaccinated campers at least twice this week.
The outbreak illustrates the continuing spread of Covid-19 even though it shows the importance of vaccines, which studies have shown are safe and provide protection against the disease and its most serious risks.
“A full vaccination gives you a higher degree of protection against infection, a higher degree of protection against severe disease, and hospitalization,” Dr. Rochelle Walinsky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Thursday. “These vaccines are among the most effective we have in modern medicine.”