An outbreak at a church camp gave 87 people COVID-19. All but 8 were unvaccinated.

More than 1,100 people were exposed to the coronavirus after a June outbreak at an Illinois camp.
Eighty-seven campers, staffers, and volunteers were infected. Only eight were not vaccinated. Hospitalizations were not given to any vaccinated patients.

The outbreak was responsible for 180 infections.

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Nearly 300 teens packed into vans and buses in June to attend an Illinois overnight camp. While some were eligible, others were not vaccinated.

Camp did not require campers to show proof of vaccinations or submit to a negative COVID-19 testing. It also didn't ask them for masks during their five day stay. They slept in large boarding houses with about 100 children each. They ate together in the cafeteria, and took part in group activities indoors as well as outdoors.

Within days, the COVID-19 epidemic had erupted. A second outbreak was caused by a number of camp staffers who attended a nearby men’s conference. According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control Prevention, these events combined exposed over 1,100 people in at least four states to the coronavirus.

Around a quarter of the campers and staffers were infected. Only eight people were infected at the camp, and the rest were not.

Five people were admitted to hospital from 180 who had been infected by either the conference outbreaks or the camp outbreaks.

CDC research has shown that people who have not been vaccinated are five times more likely than others to contract the disease and 29 times more likely be admitted to hospital.

According to the CDC, conference and camp were perfect breeding grounds for the Delta virus. The lack of masks and close quarters made it easy for this virus to spread. According to the report, 87% of COVID-19-related cases were linked to Delta.

The CDC stated that these findings "underline the risk of COVID-19 epidemics at camps and large events, where prevention strategies are not applied."

Although vaccine-vaccinated people have passed the virus on, it is not known how many.

David Morales (15) and Daniel Morales (14) play on their phones after they received their first doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccination at a mobile clinic at the WeingartEast Los Angeles YMCA in Los Angeles on May 14, 2021. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

According to the CDC, the virus was likely spread from the Illinois camp to other conference attendees and beyond.

However, scientists are still trying to determine how vaccines can fuel transmission.

A CDC report in August suggested that people who have been vaccinated against Delta virus carry the same amount of virus as those who are not. However, this isn't always a reliable indicator of how contagious people are. A study by Imperial College London that has not been peer reviewed found the contrary: Between May and July, the viral load of vaccinated UK citizens was lower than their unvaccinated counterparts.

A study in Singapore that is still awaiting peer review has found that viral loads fell faster among vaccinated persons than those who were not vaccinated. This suggests that people who have been vaccinated may be more contagious.

The CDC recommends that you keep your indoors clean in areas where there are high transmission rates. This is almost all of the US at the moment.

The majority of illness prevention measures were taken for vaccinated campers

Malikai McPherson (16) receives the Pfizer vaccine in a Melbourne clinic on May 17, 2021. Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Before vaccines were available, camps that did not enforce social distancing and masking were worse than the one in Illinois.

In June 2020, 44% of overnight camp attendees in Georgia were positive for COVID-19. This compares to 26% at the Illinois camp. Only staff wore masks in the Georgia camp cabins, which held large groups.

The CDC found only three COVID-19 patients in four Maine overnight summer camps last September. These camps had strict protocols. They required mask mandates, testing and quarantine policies. None of the infected campers ever passed on the virus to anyone else.