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COVID-19 Transmission Low in Day Camps With Safety Measures

Authors say adherence to safety protocols mitigated against high community incidence

summer camp

FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 transmission can be mitigated in child care settings even during times of high community incidence, according to a study published Feb. 3 in Pediatrics.

Emily M. D'Agostino, D.P.H., from Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, and colleagues describe transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) among >6,500 children (mean age, 8.5 years) and staff members (mean age, 22 years) at YMCA of the Triangle day camps in six North Carolina counties (March to August 2020). The camps reportedly adhered to multilayered safety strategies, including wearing face coverings during indoor and outdoor activities.

The researchers identified 19 primary symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections over the study period among 10 children (mean age, 9.7 years) and nine staff members (mean age, 27 years). These primary infections were linked to 3,030 contacts who were present in-person during the week prior to positive cases, but there were only two symptomatic secondary infections linked to primary cases. This yielded a SARS-CoV-2 primary case attack rate of 0.6 percent (19 of 3,030) and a secondary case transmission rate of 0.07 percent (two of 3,011).

"These findings suggest that the benefit of in-person programming in recreation settings with appropriate mitigation may outweigh the risk of viral transmission," the authors write.

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