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1.
Public Health Rep ; 137(5): 1007-1012, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938149

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Overnight camps are a setting where COVID-19 can easily spread without the diligent use of layered public health interventions. We evaluated 20 camps in the United States to examine COVID-19 transmission and mitigation strategies during summer 2021. METHODS: For this descriptive cross-sectional study, we examined self-reported information from 20 camps in 6 predominantly northeastern states on geographic information, tests and testing cadences, vaccination rates, and number of COVID-19 cases during summer 2021. Because the camps had hired public health consultants to guide them on reducing COVID-19 introduction and spread, all camps implemented similar interventions, including encouraging behaviors that lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission prior to camp arrival, use of cohorts, testing before and after arrival, and strong encouragement of vaccination among eligible campers and staff members. RESULTS: A total of 9474 attendees at the 20 camps came from geographically diverse regions. Camps generally tested before and at arrival, as well as once or twice after arrival. Rates of vaccination were high among staff members (84.6%) and campers (76.2%). Camps identified 27 COVID-19 cases, with 17 (63.0%) detected after arrival, 3 (7.4%) detected on arrival, and 8 (29.6%) detected prior to arrival. CONCLUSIONS: The spread of cases detected after arrival to overnight camps was limited by the use of 3 key interventions: (1) high vaccination rates, (2) a rigorous and responsive testing strategy, and (3) ongoing use of public health interventions. These findings have implications for successful operation of overnight camps, residential schools and colleges, and other similar settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Camping , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Seasons , United States/epidemiology
2.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0261833, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1637628

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, US public land managers faced the challenge of catering to large increases in camping demand, while maintaining social distancing guidelines. In this paper, we use multivariate linear regression to analyze weekly changes in reservations to US Forest Service (USFS) campgrounds between 2019 and 2020. The regression models estimate the impact of local COVID infection rates, public health restrictions, and spatial spillovers from proximity to National Parks (NPs), metropolitan areas and wildfire on camping demand. Our sample includes 1,688 individual USFS campgrounds from across the contiguous US. The results illustrate the dramatic increases in camping on USFS land that occurred in the summer of 2020 and demonstrate that increases in local infection rates led to significant increases in camping nights reserved in the summer. The results also illustrate that the increase in camping nights reserved at USFS campgrounds was particularly dramatic for campgrounds located near large metropolitan areas and near NPs that saw increases in overall recreational visits. These results point to the important role that public lands played during the pandemic and can help guide public land resource allocations for campground maintenance and operation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Camping/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/virology , Camping/trends , Humans , Parks, Recreational , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seasons , United States/epidemiology
3.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(40): 1425-1426, 2021 Oct 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1456570

ABSTRACT

According to sequencing data reported by CDC, the highly transmissible B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been the predominant lineage circulating in Louisiana since the week of June 20, 2021 (1). In Louisiana, the increased spread of the Delta variant corresponded with the start of the state's fourth and largest increase in average daily COVID-19 incidence to date (1,2). This report describes COVID-19 outbreaks in Louisiana youth summer camps as the Delta variant became the predominant lineage during June-July 2021. This activity was reviewed by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) and was conducted consistent with applicable state law and LDH policy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Camping , Disease Outbreaks , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Contact Tracing , Humans , Louisiana/epidemiology , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seasons , Young Adult
4.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(40): 1420-1424, 2021 Oct 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1456569

ABSTRACT

Most U.S. overnight youth camps did not operate during the summer of 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic* (1). Several that did operate demonstrated that multiple prevention strategies, including pre- and postarrival testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, masking, and physical distancing helped prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19; in contrast, camps that relaxed prevention strategies, such as requiring a single prearrival test without subsequent testing, experienced outbreaks (2-4). The availability of COVID-19 vaccines for persons aged ≥12 years enabled implementation of an additional prevention strategy that was not available in summer 2020. This study assessed the number of COVID-19 cases and potential secondary spread among 7,173 staff members and campers from 50 states, 13 countries, and U.S. military overseas bases at nine independently operated U.S. summer youth camps affiliated with the same organization. The camps implemented multiple prevention strategies including vaccination, testing, podding (cohorting), masking, physical distancing, and hand hygiene during June-August 2021. Vaccination coverage was 93% among eligible persons aged ≥12 years.† All staff members (1,955) and campers (5,218) received site-specific, protocol-defined screening testing, which included prearrival testing and screening tests during the camp session (38,059 tests). Screening testing identified six confirmed COVID-19 cases (one in a staff member and five in campers) by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing (screening test positivity rate = 0.02%). Three additional cases (in two staff members and one camper) were identified based on symptoms and were confirmed by RT-PCR testing. Testing for SARS-CoV-2, isolation, and quarantine in a population with high vaccination coverage resulted in no known secondary transmission of SARS-CoV-2 identified during camp. Implementation of multicomponent strategies is critical for prevention of COVID-19 outbreaks in congregate settings, including overnight youth camps.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Camping , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Adolescent , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Child , Female , Hand Hygiene , Humans , Male , Masks , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seasons , United States/epidemiology , Vaccination Coverage/statistics & numerical data
5.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(35): 1223-1227, 2021 Sep 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1413074

ABSTRACT

On June 30, 2021, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) contacted CDC concerning COVID-19 outbreaks at two events sponsored by the same organization: a 5-day overnight church camp for persons aged 14-18 years and a 2-day men's conference. Neither COVID-19 vaccination nor COVID-19 testing was required before either event. As of August 13, a total of 180 confirmed and probable cases had been identified among attendees at the two events and their close contacts. Among the 122 cases associated with the camp or the conference (primary cases), 18 were in persons who were fully vaccinated, with 38 close contacts. Eight of these 38 close contacts subsequently became infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (secondary cases); among the eight close contacts with secondary cases, one half (four) were fully vaccinated. Among the 180 total persons with outbreak-associated cases, five (2.8%) were hospitalized; no deaths occurred. None of the vaccinated persons with cases were hospitalized. Approximately 1,000 persons across at least four states were exposed to SARS-CoV-2 through attendance at these events or through close contact with a person who had a primary case. This investigation underscores the impact of secondary SARS-CoV-2 transmission during large events, such as camps and conferences, when COVID-19 prevention strategies are not implemented. In Los Angeles County, California, during July 2021, when the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant was predominant, unvaccinated residents were five times more likely to be infected and 29 times more likely to be hospitalized from infection than were vaccinated residents (1). Implementation of multiple prevention strategies, including vaccination and nonpharmaceutical interventions such as masking, physical distancing, and screening testing, are critical to preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission and serious complications from COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Camping , Congresses as Topic , Disease Outbreaks , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Child , Child, Preschool , Contact Tracing , Female , Humans , Illinois/epidemiology , Male , Masks/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Physical Distancing , Young Adult
6.
Pediatrics ; 147(4)2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1063251

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: As schools reopen nationwide, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in youth settings remains a concern. Here, we describe transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among >6800 youth and staff at YMCA of the Triangle day camps in North Carolina (March to August 2020). METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis of deidentified SARS-CoV-2 cases reported by YMCA day camps in 6 counties (Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Lee, Orange, Wake) over 147 days. Inclusion criteria were youth and staff who enrolled or worked in camps during the study period. Individual-level youth and staff demographics (age, sex, race and ethnicity) were self-reported and linked to SARS-CoV-2 case data by using unique identifiers. RESULTS: Youth (n = 5344; 66% white, 54% male, mean age 8.5 years) had a mean camp attendance rate of 88%; staff (n = 1486) were 64% white and 60% female (mean age 22 years). Seventeen primary SARS-CoV-2 infections occurred during the study period among 9 youth (mean age 9.7 years) and 8 staff (mean age 27 years) who were linked to 3030 contacts present in-person during the week before positive cases. Only 2 secondary infections (1 youth and 1 staff) were linked to primary cases. SARS-CoV-2 primary case attack rate was 0.6% (17/3030), and secondary case transmission rate was 0.07% (2/3011). CONCLUSIONS: Extremely low youth and staff symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 attack and transmission rates were observed over a 147-day period across 54 YMCA camps from March to August 2020, when local coronavirus disease 2019 prevalence peaked. These findings suggest that the benefit of in-person programming in recreation settings with appropriate mitigation may outweigh the risk of viral transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Camping , Adult , Child , Female , Humans , Male , North Carolina , Retrospective Studies , Workforce , Young Adult
7.
Pediatrics ; 147(4)2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1052449

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: In late June 2020, a large outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) occurred at a sleep-away youth camp in Georgia, affecting primarily persons ≤21 years. We conducted a retrospective cohort study among campers and staff (attendees) to determine the extent of the outbreak and assess factors contributing to transmission. METHODS: Attendees were interviewed to ascertain demographic characteristics, known exposures to COVID-19 and community exposures, and mitigation measures before, during, and after attending camp. COVID-19 case status was determined for all camp attendees on the basis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) test results and reported symptoms. We calculated attack rates and instantaneous reproduction numbers and sequenced SARS-CoV-2 viral genomes from the outbreak. RESULTS: Among 627 attendees, the median age was 15 years (interquartile range: 12-16 years); 56% (351 of 627) of attendees were female. The attack rate was 56% (351 of 627) among all attendees. On the basis of date of illness onset or first positive test result on a specimen collected, 12 case patients were infected before arriving at camp and 339 case patients were camp associated. Among 288 case patients with available symptom information, 45 (16%) were asymptomatic. Despite cohorting, 50% of attendees reported direct contact with people outside their cabin cohort. On the first day of camp session, the instantaneous reproduction number was 10. Viral genomic diversity was low. CONCLUSIONS: Few introductions of SARS-CoV-2 into a youth congregate setting resulted in a large outbreak. Testing strategies should be combined with prearrival quarantine, routine symptom monitoring with appropriate isolation and quarantine, cohorting, social distancing, mask wearing, and enhanced disinfection and hand hygiene. Promotion of mitigation measures among younger populations is needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Camping , Disease Outbreaks , Adolescent , Adult , Child , Cohort Studies , Female , Georgia/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Young Adult
9.
JAMA ; 324(14): 1399-1400, 2020 Oct 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-777293
10.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(35): 1216-1220, 2020 Sep 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-745359

ABSTRACT

The World Health Organization declared coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) a pandemic on March 11, 2020.* Shortly thereafter, closures of 124,000 U.S. public and private schools affected at least 55.1 million students through the end of the 2019-20 school year.† During the summer of 2020, approximately 82% of 8,947 U.S. overnight camps did not operate.§ In Maine, only approximately 20% of 100 overnight camps opened.¶ An overnight camp in Georgia recently reported SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, transmission among campers and staff members when nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) were not strictly followed (1); however, NPIs have been successfully used to mitigate SARS-CoV-2 transmission among military basic trainees (2). During June-August 2020, four overnight camps in Maine implemented several NPIs to prevent and mitigate the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, including prearrival quarantine, pre- and postarrival testing and symptom screening, cohorting, use of face coverings, physical distancing, enhanced hygiene measures, cleaning and disinfecting, and maximal outdoor programming. During the camp sessions, testing and symptom screening enabled early and rapid identification and isolation of attendees with COVID-19. Among the 1,022 attendees (staff members and campers) from 41 states, one territory, and six international locations, 1,010 were tested before arrival; 12 attendees who had completed a period of isolation after receiving a diagnosis of COVID-19 2 months before arrival were not tested. Four (0.4%) asymptomatic attendees received positive SARS-CoV-2 test results before arrival; these persons delayed their arrival, completed 10 days of isolation at home, remained asymptomatic, and did not receive any further testing before arrival or for the duration of camp attendance. Approximately 1 week after camp arrival, all 1,006 attendees without a previous diagnosis of COVID-19 were tested, and three asymptomatic cases were identified. Following isolation of these persons and quarantine of their contacts, no secondary transmission of SARS-CoV-2 occurred. These findings can inform similar multilayered public health strategies to prevent and mitigate the introduction and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among children, adolescents, and adults in congregate settings, such as overnight camps, residential schools, and colleges.


Subject(s)
Camping , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Asymptomatic Diseases , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Maine/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Quarantine , Young Adult
11.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(31): 1023-1025, 2020 Aug 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-691545

ABSTRACT

Limited data are available about transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), among youths. During June 17-20, an overnight camp in Georgia (camp A) held orientation for 138 trainees and 120 staff members; staff members remained for the first camp session, scheduled during June 21-27, and were joined by 363 campers and three senior staff members on June 21. Camp A adhered to the measures in Georgia's Executive Order* that allowed overnight camps to operate beginning on May 31, including requiring all trainees, staff members, and campers to provide documentation of a negative viral SARS-CoV-2 test ≤12 days before arriving. Camp A adopted most† components of CDC's Suggestions for Youth and Summer Camps§ to minimize the risk for SARS-CoV-2 introduction and transmission. Measures not implemented were cloth masks for campers and opening windows and doors for increased ventilation in buildings. Cloth masks were required for staff members. Camp attendees were cohorted by cabin and engaged in a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, including daily vigorous singing and cheering. On June 23, a teenage staff member left camp A after developing chills the previous evening. The staff member was tested and reported a positive test result for SARS-CoV-2 the following day (June 24). Camp A officials began sending campers home on June 24 and closed the camp on June 27. On June 25, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) was notified and initiated an investigation. DPH recommended that all attendees be tested and self-quarantine, and isolate if they had a positive test result.


Subject(s)
Camping , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Outbreaks , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19 , Child , Female , Georgia/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Young Adult
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