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Summer Camps in Maine Beat Virus for Months

Over the summer, four overnight camps in Maine successfully kept the virus at bay.


1,022 people attended the summer camps, which included campers and staff members who came to Maine from 41 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, Bermuda and five other countries. Only three people tested positive for COVID-19, researchers report August 26 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.


VIRUS WAS BEAT AFFORDABLY AND ALLOWING A GOOD HUMAN EXPERIENCE


A combination of testing, social bubbles, social distancing, masks, quarantine, and isolation prevented outbreaks. Breaking up attendees into classroom sized social groupings allowed interaction and play while containing outbreaks with a manageable group of people. Masks and social distancing were used to prevent spread between social groups and still allow interaction with all camp participants. Simple daily checks for symptoms and timely tests for virus presence with quick follow up quarantines beat the virus.


The camp showed leadership, paid attention to basic recommendations, and had conscientious and timely follow ups. This is exactly how CareMoat manages our members health care and wellness needs and risks. There is always a need for knowledgeable and pro active leadership committed not only to you and your family’s health and well being but also to your quality of life.


HOW IT WAS DONE


Before arriving at camp, officials told all 642 children and 380 staff members to quarantine with their households for 10 to 14 days. Attendees were also tested for COVID-19 five to seven days prior to arrival — except for 12 people who had already been previously diagnosed. Four people tested positive for the virus and isolated for 10 days at home before heading off to one of the camps, which were in session at different times from mid-June to mid-August.


Once on site, the campers and staff participated in daily symptom checks and activities held largely outdoors. They also hung out in small “bubbles,” or cohorts, that ranged from five to 44 people in size and became like family during the weeks at camp, the researchers say. If people interacted with anyone outside their group, masks and social distancing were required.


LESSON FOR SCHOOLS, UNIVERSITIES

Organizing around small social clusters allows the management of infections. Timely and disciplined testing and responses kept infections at a very low level while allowing for high quality life experiences. Leadership at large organizations need to build their virus response from the bottom up not only addressing risk and financial concerns, but committed to high quality experiences for their constituents being cognizant of how social groups work.

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