Very Little Spread of COVID at Kids’ Day Camps

FRIDAY, February 5, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Day camps could be seen as breeding grounds for coronavirus infection, but a new study shows that when social distancing measures are followed, little disease results.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 6,800 children and staff who were in 54 YMCA day camps in the greater Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of ​​North Carolina from March through August 2020, when community cases of COVID-19 were on the rise.

The Duke University team identified only 10 children and nine staff with confirmed infections. Only two patients may have been infected at the camp, while all other patients were infected outside the camp, according to the study published online Feb. 3 in the journal. Pediatrics.

“Our study suggests that appropriate measures to reduce the spread of the disease can create an environment in which normal childhood activities such as day camp, school and after-school recreation can be provided with a minimal risk, ”said study author Emily D’Agostino, assistant. professor in the department of family medicine and community health at Duke.

“The study also underscores the critical importance of academic partnerships with community organizations for the promotion of pediatric health,” D’Agostino said in an academic press release.

All camp staff have been trained on how to limit the spread of the coronavirus, and camps have adhered to symptom screening for children and workers, masking, hand washing / sanitizing, cleaning / sanitizing daily and limiting the group size to no more than 10 children.

Last month, another team from Duke University reported that transmission of the coronavirus in schools was rare. They attended 11 school districts in North Carolina for nine weeks of in-person instruction.

There were 773 infections acquired in the community among schoolchildren and staff, but only 32 infections were acquired in schools. There have been no cases of child-to-adult transmission in schools, according to this study, also published in Pediatrics.

“This data should be useful for school systems and child care providers as they navigate this extremely difficult time, while working to promote the well-being of children and key caregivers,” said co-author Dr Ibukun Akinboyo, assistant professor at Duke’s. pediatric department.

More information

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on children and COVID-19.

SOURCE: Duke University, press release, February 3, 2021

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