This news confirms what we unfortunately already knew to be true: that children do contract and transmit the coronavirus, and that summer camps have been a source of infection over the past few months. The YMCA’s Camp High Harbour in Georgia opened up on June 21, and then was shuttered just six days later. During those six days of camp, which did not require campers and staff to wear face masks, 51 children out of the 100 campers between the ages of 6 and 10 had contracted the virus. And more troubling still was that in the weeks after camp was closed, 260 out of the 344 kids and staff tested positive for COVID-19, according to the New York Post. 168 out of those 260 infected are children.
The CDC reports that 74% of infected kids and staffers exhibited symptoms of the virus including fever and cough. But on the flip side, that means that the remaining 26% of people might not have shown any symptoms at all, and they could have possibly transmitted COVID-19 without realizing that they had it. CDC researchers confirm, “Children of all ages are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and, contrary to early reports, might play an important role in transmission,” as per the New York Post.
The poorly ventilated cabins that the kids slept in were hotbeds of transmission, especially since the kids were in close quarters with one another for extended periods of time. As anyone who’s ever been to camp as a kid or has sent their own children knows: camps are not ideal places for social distancing.