Ashland County Reports COVID-19 Outbreak At Northern Wisconsin Summer Camp

14 People Linked To Camp Eagle Ridge Test Positive For The Virus

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Bruce McCall, 5, smiles as he takes hand sanitizer during martial arts daycare summer camp
Bruce McCall, 5, smiles as he takes hand sanitizer during martial arts daycare summer camp at Legendary Blackbelt Academy in Richardson, Texas, Tuesday, May 19, 2020. As daycares and youth camps re-open in Texas, operators are following appropriate safety measure to insure kids stay safe from COVID-19. LM Otero/AP Photo

Ashland County Public Health is reporting a COVID-19 outbreak at a summer camp in northern Wisconsin.

The county’s health officer Liz Szot said 14 people associated with Camp Eagle Ridge in Mellen have tested positive for the virus. The outbreak is mostly among staff.

She said an individual at the camp experienced mild symptoms and received a COVID-19 test from a health care provider. Once results came back positive, the camp took steps to notify and test others who were exposed.

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“There’s the potential that the number may grow in association with it,” said Szot. “But based on the information that we have, I would optimistically hope that it has been contained at this time.”

Szot said it’s unclear how the individual contracted the virus, noting the camp has little contact with local communities. The camp was also doing daily screenings for the virus prior to the outbreak, said Szot. Details on the total number of campers and staff were not immediately available.

The camp has followed recommendations for quarantine and taken precautions in compliance with the American Camp Association Accreditation.

County health officials are working with camp leaders to contain the virus. Szot said there’s little risk to public health.

All kids were sent home to their families by July 27 with instructions to isolate and monitor for symptoms. Some staff and counselors remain at the camp under quarantine.

Other summer camps across the country have been forced to shut down after dozens of staff and kids tested positive for coronavirus.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Friday found coronavirus spreads “efficiently” among children in such settings despite efforts by camp officials to prevent infection.

The report details that a sleep-away camp in Georgia had 260 out of 597 children and staff who tested positive for coronavirus. Everyone had to be tested prior to attending the camp. Children were not required to wear masks, although adults were required to wear face coverings, according to the Washington Post.

In Missouri, Kanakuk K-2 camp in Lampe closed this summer after 41 people were infected, reported NPR. The number of positive cases doubled in days to 82. That camp also is said to have conducted health screenings, as well as require a two-week quarantine of campers before their arrival.

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