COVID-19 outbreak at Camp Daniel Boone

Haywood County -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 16, 2021 From: Haywood County Health and Human Services Agency 

Haywood County Health & Human Services has identified a COVID-19 outbreak at Camp Daniel Boone Scout Camp

The Haywood County Health and Human Services Agency has identified a COVID-19 cluster among campers at Camp Daniel Boone Scout Camp. Three out-of-state campers spending the week at Camp Daniel Boone tested positive during their stay.

“I want to commend the staff at Camp Daniel Boone for their cooperation during this time. They have made every effort to provide us necessary information while continuing to provide quality care to their campers. They are following public health guidelines and recommendations.

These events bring to light that COVID-19 is still prevalent in our community. It is not gone and this is not over. We continue to see an uptick in positive cases as people gather together in large groups and remain unvaccinated. I want to encourage everyone to practice good hand hygiene, to maintain a safe distance in large gatherings, and to wear your mask in settings where social distancing isn’t feasible. Be safe for yourself and for those around you,” said Sarah Henderson, Haywood County Public Health Director.

Statement from Daniel Boone Council, Boy Scouts of America:

The health and safety of our Scouting families, volunteers, employees, and the broader community is our highest priority. 

We notified local health officials immediately upon learning that a small number of people tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, July 14. We also informed all individuals who attended camp during that time of their potential exposure.

We have worked closely with our local health officials on implementing expert-informed COVID-19 protocols since the beginning of the pandemic. This includes our COVID-19 Mitigation Plan, which was approved by the Haywood County Health Department.

Our multilayered mitigation measures at camp — including a pre-event medical screening checklist, daily temperature checks during camp, social distancing, a mask requirement for indoor and group settings, handwashing and sanitizing stations throughout camp, and many more — helped limit exposure.

However, we determined that these few positive cases and the associated close contacts, unfortunately, inhibited our ability to safely run the remaining sessions at Camp Daniel Boone. All registrants will receive a full refund, and we look forward to providing them and all other Scouting families with incredible camping opportunities this fall.

We will continue to keep health and safety at the forefront of everything we do. 

This incident did not meet the traditional standard for a cluster of cases, however, it is important to share it with the public to highlight how easily such situations can occur, even when everything possible is done to prevent them, and to highlight the importance of vaccination and preventative measures. 

By communicating early and working together with the health department, the potential severity of the outbreak was lessened, and positive cases were quickly isolated, helping to prevent what could have been a much worse situation. 

All campers and scout leaders who attended Camp Daniel Boone this week, unfortunately, had to end their camp time early and return home for follow-up and care, as needed, in their home states.

Next week’s session, the last in the season, has also been canceled out of an abundance of caution.

In accordance with accepted standards, the camp will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before future campers arrive.

The North Carolina Division of Public Health (NCDPH) defines clusters of COVID-19 in workplace, educational, and other community settings as,  1) A minimum of 5 cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period AND, 2) plausible linkage between cases where cases were present in the same setting during the same time period (e.g., same shift, same classroom, same physical work area); that the timing fits with likely timing of exposure; and that there is no other more likely source of exposure for identified cases (e.g., household or close contact to a confirmed case in another setting).

Symptomatic individuals who test positive will be required to remain in isolation under the following conditions: 1) At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared AND, 2) At least 24 hours have passed since the last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, AND 3) Symptoms (like cough and shortness of breath) have improved. Asymptomatic individuals who test positive will be required to remain in quarantine under the following conditions: 1) At least 14 days have passed since their positive test assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test.

Haywood County Public Health is working to identify any additional close contacts of people identified in this cluster. The CDC defines close contact as being within approximately 6 feet of a person infected with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, without wearing a face covering, during the period in which they are contagious.  Based on the information provided during contact tracing, county health officials will assess risks of exposure, determine which if any additional measures are needed, quarantine, and/or testing.

This link: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/guidance#node-71 contains information and guidance for business owners and customers of all types of businesses in North Carolina.   

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