A new report released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention connects Crossing Camp to more than 180 cases of COVID-19.
The investigation, published on Tuesday, implies that a five-day overnight camp and a two-day men's conference, both sponsored by The Crossing, a large church network in Illinois, have caused several infections. While no one has died from these infections, at least five people were hospitalized, and 29 vaccinated individuals were affected by the outbreak. The high amount of transmission leads the CDC to believe that the infections were related to the Delta Variant.
The camp had hosted several hundred teens sleeping in "large shared boarding facilities". However, it did not require said teens to be vaccinated, bring masks or maintain social distancing. On June 16, members were already reporting symptoms. By the end of the month, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced that at least 80 teens and adults at the camp had been affected, with very few of the students being vaccinated. At least six of the staffers then went on to a men's conference hosted by The Crossing. This leads to at least 35 individuals testing positive for the virus.
"The perceived risk to children may seem small, but even a mild case of covid-19 can cause long-term health issues," said "Ngozi Ezike, director of the Health Department in the initial announcement. "Additionally, infected youth who may not experience severe illness can still spread the virus to others, including those who are too young to be vaccinated or those who don't build the strong expected immune response to the vaccine."
The breakout at Crossing was not considered an anomaly. Health officials predict that at least 21 outbreaks of COVID-19 have happened at summer camps and overnight camps in Illinois as of early August 2021.