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85 people tested positive for COVID-19 at summer youth camp in Rushville

summer camp 2

RUSHVILLE, IL (WEEK) - 85 teens and adult staff members at a summer youth camp tested positive for COVID-19 in mid-June.

On Monday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported one unvaccinated young adult was hospitalized after a summer youth camp decided to not check the vaccination status of all its campers and staff while not requiring masking indoors.

The Schuyler County Health Department said the outbreak happened at The Crossing Camp in Rushville.

Although all campers and staff members were eligible for vaccination, IDPH is aware of only a handful of campers and staff receiving the vaccine.

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike released the following statement Monday:

"The majority of the 85 COVID-19 cases associated with the youth camp are among teens... The perceived risk to children may seem small, but even a mild case of COVID-19 can cause long-term health issues.  Additionally, infected youth who may not experience severe illness can still  spread the virus to others, including those who are too young to be vaccinated or those who don’t build the strong expected immune response to the vaccine.”

-Dr. Ngozi Ezike

A couple of individuals who were at the camp also attended a nearby conference, which resulted in 11 additional cases. At least 70% of those cases were unvaccinated. 

The outbreak occurred in Schuyler and Adams counties, where they are seeing approximately 40% of their population fully vaccinated.

CDC guidance adopted by IDPH for operating youth camps can be found at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/community-guidance/operating-youth-camps.

Deanna Cantu

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