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58 COVID cases from 14 states stem from summer camp with SC ties

·2 min read

At least 58 people in 14 states have tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a conservative Christian camp in western North Carolina, according to the Transylvania Public Health Department.

The Wilds, located in Brevard, offers weekly summer camps for teens. Its Facebook page says 300 churches support the camp and 250,000 campers attend each year.

Tara Rybka, spokesperson for the county public health department, said 37 of the positive cases were staff members. The agency is continuing to get reports from other states of children who have tested positive, she said.

Rybka said none have been hospitalized.

The camp was closed this week, she said.

Susan Burke, the office manager for The Wilds, headquartered in Taylors, South Carolina, could not be reached for comment Friday.

The Transylvania health department reported four of the 58 cases were local residents.

The cases involved people who attended the camp from June 28 to July 10, the health agency said.

Transylvania Public Health said officials from the Wilds tested and quarantined camp staff, notified campers who attended during those dates and added measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The health agency said it would provide rapid tests for campers and staff and help the camp meet state guidance for summer camps.

North Carolina updated its guidance for summer camps in early July, saying camps should promote vaccinations, have campers tested before coming to camp, wear face coverings indoors and clean surfaces daily.

Other camps have experienced outbreaks this summer, including the Travelers Rest YMCA day camp program, which was shut down July 13 due to six confirmed cases of COVID-19, YMCA spokesperson Amanda Long. That program is scheduled to resume Monday.

Camp Daniel Boone in Haywood County, N.C., closed last Friday after three campers tested positive, News 13 in Asheville reported.

The New York Times reported Friday that 31 of 550 campers at Camp Pontiac in upstate New York had tested positive. All were younger than 12, too young to get the vaccine. None were seriously ill, the newspaper reported.

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