COVID-19 outbreaks linked to summer camps raise questions about fall schooling

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Posted at 4:56 PM, Jul 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-14 19:17:58-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A string of COVID-19 outbreaks linked to summer camps across the nation is raising questions about what the fall school year will bring.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department says 14 cases are linked to camps in Lexington this summer.

"There's nothing to really pinpoint any one issue for these cases and it's worth noting though that kids, a lot of kids are ineligible to be vaccinated," said Communications Officer Kevin Hall.

Since mandatory restrictions in Kentucky were lifted in June, camps have the ability to decide whether to adhere to CDC guidelines.

"There's fewer regulations and restrictions on camps. Then there are recommendations from the CDC and we support those recommendations but ultimately it comes down to those individual sites if you want to put anything in place," said Hall.

At the Living Arts and Science Center, they have a variety of camps all summer.

Discovery Educator Ashlee Collins says they decided early on to keep the social distancing, masks indoors, and other precautions even though they didn't have to.

Hearing about other outbreaks, they're thankful they did.

"It's definitely a layer of caution. It's definitely a reminder for us why we're doing what we're doing," said Collins.

Campers had their own bins for personal belonging and tools they'd use during classes.

"We haven't had a single case this summer, which we're really thankful about," said Collins.

While some fear summer camp outbreaks could be a preview of the upcoming school year, Hall says not necessarily.

"It's not a true apples-to-apples comparison, but the schools have a different set of regulations and guidelines recommendations where it's a little more open for summer camps and summer activities," explained Hall.