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More Than 125 Kids, Adults Test Positive for COVID-19 After Church Camp

The church did not say how many of the more than 125 infected at the camp were children; Galveston County Health Department confirms 57 infections related to church camp

Source: NIAID-RML

What to Know

  • Church says more than 125 kids, adults reported testing positive after church camp that took place late last month.
  • Galveston County Health Department confirms 57 cases tied to the camp, three of those cases were the Delta variant and more samples are being tested.
  • Church says hundreds were exposed to the virus at the camp and likely hundreds more were exposed after campers returned home.

More than 125 people who attended a church camp last week along the Texas Gulf Coast have now tested positive for COVID-19, according to Clear Creek Community Church in League City.

The church wrote on their website July 3 that upcoming Sunday and Wednesday services would be canceled "due to a significant number of people testing positive for COVID-19 after returning from camp."

"Unfortunately, upon return from camp, 125+ campers and adults reported to us that they tested positive for COVID-19. Additionally, hundreds more were exposed to COVID-19 at camp. And hundreds of others were likely exposed when infected people returned home from camp," Lead Pastor Bruce Wesley wrote in a letter posted on the church's website.

The church did not say how many of the infected were children.

The Galveston County Health District confirmed the Delta variant has been identified in three test samples tied to the church camp outbreak.

In an update on the fight against coronavirus on Tuesday, President Joe Biden noted that almost every COVID-19 hospitalization and death since early May in the U.S. ‘has been among the unvaccinated.'

“The Delta variant is highly contagious, more so than other strains. And people who are unvaccinated are at most risk,” said Dr. Philip Keiser, Galveston County's local health authority.

Additional samples are being tested by the GCHD to determine the strain of COVID-19.

The GCHD said more than 450 people participated in the camp, including children from grades 6 through 12, along with adults. The health district was notified of the first positive COVID-19 case tied to the camp on June 27.

The GCHD said they have been notified of 57 cases related to the camp, including six breakthrough cases. Breakthrough cases are defined as someone becoming infected more than 14 days after their second COVID-19 vaccination. Of the 57 cases confirmed by the GCHD, 47 are in youth and adults age 12 and older while 10 are youth younger than 12.

According to their website, the church has asked members attending any in-person events to do a self-screening assessment that including not having tested positive for the virus in the last 10 days, having no known exposure to anyone who had the virus in the past 14 days, and showing no symptoms of the virus.

The World Health Organization says the Delta variant is so contagious that even vaccinated people ought to wear masks, so the variant doesn't spread to unvaccinated people. NBC News medical correspondent Dr. John Torres talks about the variant and whether the U.S. would need to reinstitute mask mandates in the face of it.

"From the beginning of the pandemic, we have sought to love our neighbors by practicing strict safety protocols. We are surprised and saddened by this turn of events. Our hearts break for those infected with the virus. Please pray for a speedy and complete recovery for all of those affected," Wesley wrote.

The church said they were working with the Galveston County Health District on the outbreak, tracing contacts and offering guidance and resources.

The church said they anticipate resuming church services Sunday, July 11.

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