Nearly 100 COVID-19 Cases Linked To Illinois Summer Camp, Officials Say

(RAYMOND ROIG/AFP via Getty Images)

Bradley Devlin General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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A summer camp in Illinois seems to be the epicenter of nearly 100 cases of COVID-19, authorities claimed Monday.

The camp allegedly did not require mask-wearing indoors and did not check attendees’ vaccination status, the Illinois Department of Public Health officials said in a statement. A majority of the 85 infected were teenagers who went to the camp in mid-June, but some adult staff members were among those who came down with a case of COVID-19, the statement added.

Despite the outbreak, just one of the young adults had to be hospitalized due to COVID-19. Authorities claimed that the hospitalized young adult was unvaccinated and that eleven additional cases originated from campers who attended a conference nearby.

Around 70% of the cases from the outbreak occurred in unvaccinated individuals, according to officials. 

“Although all campers and staff were eligible for vaccination, IDPH is aware of only a handful of campers and staff receiving the vaccine,” the health department said in the statement. “The camp was not checking vaccination status and masking was not required while indoors. IDPH is reminding people about the importance of vaccination, including youth, as the Delta variant and other variants continue to spread,” the agency added.

The health department alleged that “even a mild case” in a young adult can cause long-term health effects, even though the risk for children remains minimal. “Infected youth who may not experience severe illness can still spread the virus to others, including those who are too young to be vaccinated or those who don’t build the strong expected immune response to the vaccine,” claimed Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the department’s director.

The state has also provided the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with samples from the infected individuals for genomic sequencing. (RELATED: Fauci Admits CDC Guidelines For Summer Camps May Not Be ‘Sensible’)

The CDC previously issued guidance for summer camps in May, which included intensive mask-wearing, disinfecting surfaces and extensive social distancing.