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Maine Summer Camps Identified, Isolated COVID-19 Cases

Actions prevented COVID-19 transmission to more than 1,000 other campers and staff

THURSDAY, Aug. 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Three COVID-19-positive people with no symptoms were successfully identified and isolated at four overnight camps in Maine, according to research published in the Aug. 26 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The actions prevented COVID-19 transmission to more than 1,000 other campers and staff who attended the four camps for well over a month between June and August.

The camps included people from across the United States and also from Bermuda, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, and the United Kingdom who quarantined for up to 14 days before arrival. Three of the camps also asked attendees to submit COVID-19 test results beforehand.

“These findings demonstrate that multilayered public health prevention and mitigation strategies in an overnight camp setting can identify and prevent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission, regardless of the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the domestic and international communities from which campers and staff members are arriving. Prearrival quarantine and testing, access to timely test results, cohorting, and the ability to isolate and quarantine during camp allowed prevention and early identification of infection that might not be practicable or feasible in all settings,” Laura Blaisdell, M.D., from the Maine Medical Center Research Institute in Portland, and her colleagues write. “These findings have important implications for the successful implementation of COVID-19 mitigation strategies in other overnight camps, residential schools, and colleges.”

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