Georgia Camp

According to the CDC report, an overnight camp in Georgia was associated with an outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 (the name of the virus that causes COVID-19).

CDC Report

Summary

On the evening of June 22, 2020, a teenage staff member of the camp developed chills and left the camp on June 23. After a positive test result from the staff member was reported to the camp on June 24, the camp began sending campers home and the camp was closed June 27, which was the scheduled last day of camp.

Staff and trainees arrived at the camp June 17 and campers arrived June 21.

The camp adhered to all measures in Georgia’s Executive Order relating to overnight camps which were allowed to open after May 31, and many, but not all, of the CDC’s Suggestions for Youth and Summer Camps to reduce risk for SARS-CoV-2 transmission. This included:

  • All trainees, staff and campers had to provide documentation of a negative SARS-CoV-2 test within 12 days prior to arriving at camp
  • Cloth masks were required for staff

Policies not in line with CDC’s guidelines:

  • No cloth masks for campers
  • Windows and doors were not left open for increased ventilation.

Camp activities included daily singing and cheering and although campers were cohorted by cabin, it is unknown if individuals maintained physical distance from members outside their cohort.

The CDC looked at SARS-CoV-2 test results for Georgia residents who had been at the camp (27 campers were from out of state). They looked at any positive tests that were reported to the Georgia Department of Health between when an attendee arrived at the camp and 14 days after they left the camp.

Results

Of 597 Georgia attendees, 260, or 44% tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, including 49% of campers.

Breakdown by age group:

  • Ages 6-10: 51 out of 100 (51% positive)
  • Ages 11-17: 180 out of 409 (44% positive)
  • Ages 18-21: 27 out of 81 (33% positive)
  • Ages 22-59: 2 out of 7 (29% positive)

For 136 of those positive cases, the CDC had symptom information. Of those, 36, or 26%, had no symptoms. The other 100 (74%) most commonly reported fever, headache and sore throat.

Also of note, trainees who were at the camp the least number of days only had a 19% positivity rate, while staff members, who were there the longest had a 56% positivity rate.

Caveats

Because negative test results were not reliably reported and no results were available for some attendees, positivity rates were calculated by dividing the number of positive tests by the number of Georgia resident attendees. This likely resulted in an undercount of positive cases.

Since COVID-19 was highly prevalent in Georgia in June and July, we don’t know for certain that transmission happened at camp.