85 campers and staff test positive for COVID-19 at YMCA summer camp

RABUN COUNTY, Ga. — Approximately 85 campers and staff members tested positive for the novel coronavirus after attending a summer camp at a YMCA location in northern Georgia.

Now two YMCA camp locations have closed.

YMCA Camp High Harbour shut down its Lake Allatoona and Lake Burton operations after a camp counselor at the Lake Burton location tested positive for the virus on June 24, WSB-TV reported.

The counselor who tested positive was immediately sent home and campers’ parents were notified of the counselor’s status, CNN reported. Parents were given a 4-day span to pick up their children.

Once campers and counselors were off the camp premises, more of them reported positive coronavirus test results -- about 85 in total, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

The 300-plus campers were between the ages of 7 and 14, and the counselors were between the ages of 16 and 22.

“It should be noted that the counselor did pass the mandated safety protocols and did not exhibit any symptoms upon arrival. In fact, all counselors and campers attending passed all mandatory screenings,” Lauren Koontz, CEO and president of the YMCA of Metro Atlanta, said in a statement.

Koontz said that the overnight camp, which opened on May 31, followed all guidelines and recommendations as outlined by Gov. Brian Kemp’s executive order, the Centers for Disease Control and the American Camp Association.

The camp was scheduled to end Aug. 1, but will not resume operations this summer.

Earlier this week, a Missouri summer camp closed one of its eight sites after at least 82 campers and staff members became infected with COVID-19. Last week, 100 teenagers who had traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, from Washington, D.C. tested positive for the virus.

In Georgia, where the YMCA camp closed, cases hit an all-time high on Friday, with more than 4,000 new cases reported in a single day.

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