New York sleepaway camp reports COVID-19 infections in 31 campers under age 12

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Thirty one campers between the ages of 7 and 11 have tested positive for COVID-19 at an upstate New York camp. Camp Pontiac sent a letter to parents informing them that the first positive case occurred on July 16.

Almost all of those infected have been sent home, as well as the 88 people they’d been in contact with. Those who haven’t been sent home yet live too far away for an easy trip.

“When it comes to congregant living situations. It’s tough. It’s really tough because you get one positive kid in a bunk or in a dormitory that houses 15 kids. Kids, they don’t socially distance if they don’t have to. So, I think it’s really hard when it comes to summer camps,” Columbia County Public Health Director Jake Mabb told WNYT. 

More than 90% of the staff are vaccinated, and Mabb has said that none of the staff have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Camp Pontiac has 550 campers, half of whom are between the ages of 7 and 11, and the other half are older than 12. They also have 275 staff members. None of the children over 12 have tested positive for COVID-19, all of whom are vaccinated with the exception of four kids. Unvaccinated campers will now be tested twice weekly.

While kids under 12 are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations, President Biden predicted vaccines could win authorization for children under 12 as early as August, and Pfizer has noted plans to request emergency approval for use of its vaccine in kids aged 5 to 11 by September or October.

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