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USA: COVID-19 outbreak reported among Galveston Co. church members after camp

At least 85 COVID cases now tied to central Illinois summer camp

Wednesday 7 July 2021, by siawi3


COVID-19 outbreak reported among Galveston Co. church members after camp

Saturday, July 3, 2021 8:53PM

Video here

Dozens of adults and youth tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a church camp near Giddings last month, authorities said.

GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) — More than 125 adults and youth from a Galveston County church camp event have tested positive for COVID-19, the church said in a statement to its members.

The Clear Creek Community Church youth ministry camp was held at a facility near Giddings, Texas, last month.

“Unfortunately, upon return from camp, 125+ campers and adults reported to us that they tested positive for COVID-19,” church officials said in a statement. “Additionally, hundreds more were exposed to COVID-19 at camp. And hundreds of others were likely exposed when infected people returned home from camp. We seek to remain in contact with those impacted. If you, or someone in your family, begins to have symptoms, please seek medical attention immediately.”

Galveston County Health District officials said Friday they were investigating the outbreak at the five-day event that was attended by around 450 adults and children in sixth through 12th grades. The first case was reported to them on June 27.

Health officials in Galveston County said they were looking into 20 of the reported cases. There was no word Saturday on if any of those infected had been vaccinated prior to the camp.

News of the outbreak has forced Clear Creek Community Church leaders to cancel services for Sunday, July 4 and Wednesday, July 7.

“From the beginning of the pandemic, we have sought to love our neighbors by practicing strict safety protocols,” church officials said in a statement. “We are surprised and saddened by this turn of events. Our hearts break for those infected with the virus. Please pray for a speedy and complete recovery for all of those affected.”

The church held the event at the Tejas Camp & Retreat near Giddings, a Christian retreat center. The facility has guidance related to COVID-19 prevention on its website. It wasn’t clear if participants from other churches were in contact with Clear Creek Community Church members during the same week.



At least 85 COVID cases now tied to central Illinois summer camp

COVID-19 outbreak linked to teen church camp in central Illinois where few were vaccinated

Angie Leventis Lourgos
Chicago Tribune (TNS)

1:33 pm CDT June 26, 2021

More than 50 teen campers and adult staff members caught COVID-19 during an outbreak at a central Illinois church summer camp earlier this month, and at least one person was hospitalized, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Although all campers and staff were eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, the state health department said only “a handful” of them had gotten inoculated against the virus, which has killed more than 600,000 in the United States.

The camp also didn’t require masks, according to the state health department.

“The camp was not checking vaccination status and masking was not required while indoors,” said a state health department news release. “All campers and staff went home and were asked to be tested and told to quarantine.”

While the state’s news release doesn’t name the camp, a Pike County Health Department statement warned about a recent COVID-19 outbreak of at least 50 confirmed cases at Crossing Camp in Rushville, a church camp located in Schuyler County.

More: 2 major Peoria COVID-19 testing sites are closing. Here’s when

Public health officials urged “all individuals (adults and children) who visited the camp during that time period to get a PCR test for COVID-19, even if you have no symptoms,” according to the Pike County Health Department.

This is the second instance this month of possible community exposure to COVID-19 linked to the church affiliated with the camp, The Crossing, a “multi-campus, nondenominational church,” with locations in Illinois, Missouri and Iowa.

The downstate Adams County Health Department recently warned of possible community exposure to COVID-19 at a conference held June 18 and 19 at a church’s Quincy location, according to media reports; the health department required those in attendance to quarantine for 10 days after their last exposure.

The church did not immediately return the Tribune’s requests for comment.

Also: Peoria County COVID-19 vaccine tracker: 43% of people fully vaccinated

Crossing Camp is billed on its website as “a powerful and life-changing event.”

The four-day camp was from June 13 to 17, for eighth graders and high school students, and featured “gifted speakers and worship leaders,” according to the website. The cost was $200.

A packing list on the site includes items such as a sleeping bag, sunscreen and a Bible, but does not mention bringing a mask.

On its registration page, the website also says another session scheduled for younger students has been postponed, citing the recent outbreak at the teen camp.

“Due to a recent outbreak of COVID-19 related to Student Camp June 13-17, we have made the difficult decision to postpone our 4th & 5th grade Crossing Camp,” the website said, adding that this session is rescheduled for August. “We were so looking forward to spending time with your campers this weekend, but we believe the best way to value and love our students, difference makers and staff is to delay camp until a safer time.”

Read this: New COVID-19 cases plummet in Illinois. Here’s how central Illinois counties rank

While Illinois reopened earlier this month following more than a year of strict pandemic protocols, public health officials have warned that those who are not vaccinated should still wear masks and social distance — particularly while indoors — to guard against contracting and spreading the virus.

Although the virus is far less prevalent than it was earlier in the pandemic, with a statewide positivity rate of less than 1% and more than 70% of Illinois adults having received at least one vaccine dose, public health officials have cautioned that those who are not vaccinated are at still at risk.

Of particular concern is the delta variant, a COVID-19 strain with 84 identified cases in Illinois, according to the state health department.

“As more transmissible and dangerous COVID-19 variants spread, including the delta variant, largely among people who have not been vaccinated, IDPH continues to encourage all residents 12 years and older to be vaccinated,” the state health department said in the news released.