85 teens and staffers caught COVID-19 at an Illinois summer camp that didn’t ask for people’s vaccination status or require indoor masking

Child vaccination mask US
A 14-year-old girl getting vaccinated against COVID-19 in Hartford, Connecticut. Not related to this story. Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty
  • 85 people, mostly teens, tested positive for COVID-19 at a summer camp in Illinois, officials said.
  • The Illinois Department of Public Health said attendees’ vaccination status was not checked.
  • It also said people weren’t asked to wear masks indoors.
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Eighty-five people tested positive for COVID-19 at a summer camp in Illinois that didn’t ask if people were vaccinated or ask people to wear masks indoors.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said in a Monday statement that 85 teens and adult staff who were at the camp, which it did not name, had tested positive in mid-June.

“Although all campers and staff were eligible for vaccination, IDPH is aware of only a handful of campers and staff receiving the vaccine,” it said.

“The camp was not checking vaccination status and masking was not required while indoors.”

Most of the cases recorded were in teenagers, the department said.

“The perceived risk to children may seem small, but even a mild case of COVID-19 can cause long-term health issues,” IDPH director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allowed children aged 12 and up to be vaccinated on May 12. Most teenagers aged 16 and over were able to get coronavirus vaccines in Illinois from April, and those aged 12 and over from mid-May.