Raleigh, N.C. — At least two Raleigh day camps have alerted parents that their children may have been exposed to COVID-19.
On Monday, Camp Outer Limits at the Northwest Cary YMCA released this statement to parents:
“We immediately notified parents of children in camp at this location. In addition, staff initiated our deep cleaning protocols to disinfect the areas the day camp has been using.”
YMCA staff told WRAL they found out about the camper’s positive case Monday. The camper was at the Y the week of June 22.
The City of Raleigh also alerted parents over the weekend that children who were attending day camp at Millbrook Exchange Park have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
A letter was emailed to 24 families with children who were exposed to the individual. The exposure happened on June 29, the day city camp programs opened for the season, according to the letter.
The person was only at the camp for the one day, left and got tested, and then received the positive results on Sunday.
The letter advised: “Your child had exposure to the individual who tested positive and it is possible that your child could have contracted the virus.” Those who received the letter were advised to contact their medical provider and county health department.
Children exposed can’t go back to the camp until either they have isolated for 14 days without development of symptoms or, if they test positive, they have had 10 days since symptoms began, an improvement in symptoms and at least three days without a fever without the use of medicine.
Raleigh Parks and Recreation Director Oscar Carmona said the location would be closed for 14 days.
“We’re very concerned, kind of disappointed our first week in, we did have a symptom show up, but I feel very confident with the safety measures we have put in place,” he said.
The city has established a list of rules for camps to try and prevent the spread of the virus including wellness screenings, limiting access to the building, modifying activities to decrease sharing, and keeping campers in groups of 12, with interaction limited.
Dr. David Wohl, a professor at UNC School of Medicine who specializes in infectious diseases, said there are no situations without risk right now, but there are ways to minimize that risk.
“I think we really need to think hard in these camp situations about limiting exposure where there is an exposure,” he explained.
Across the city, 31 camps are operating with modifications to accommodate the coronavirus outbreak. Those changes require that campers wear masks and complete a wellness screening and temperature check daily. Campers are assigned to groups of no more than 12 and interaction between groups is limited.
Carmona said the city would continue doing the best it can to maintain the safest environment possible for campers and staff. The city will refund or credit families for any days of camp that children miss to isolate as a result of this possible exposure.
Texas Med researchers released findings that show sending kids to camp puts them at a “moderate risk” of COVID-19 exposure — on the same risk level as working one week in an office or swimming in a public pool.