A single student who tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 within the week leading up to the retreat was the likely source of the outbreak, which infected 76% of participants, according to the report’s authors, who come from the Wisconsin Department of Health (WDHS) . who have favourited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and several US universities.
Several precautions before camp
To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the organizers of the retreat asked 152 participants from 21 states to have a positive serological (antibody) test within the last 3 months or a negative SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction Document (RT-PCR) test results within 7 days before departure. The organizers also urged attendees to quarantine themselves in their households for 7 days prior to travel and to wear masks during the trip.
Teachers – but not students – wore masks during class outdoors and maintained physical distance with separate bedrooms. Students and advisors of young adults slept in cramped dormitories or yurts with shared bathrooms and common areas.
Despite these pre-retreat precautions, one student developed a sore throat, cough, and chills on July 3, and tested positive by RT-PCR on July 5. The student was isolated in a private room and 11 close contacts were quarantined together in a separate dormitory and then released on July 7 after receiving negative rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen test results that have not been verified by health officials were.
From July 4-7, 6 of the 11 close contacts and 18 additional students developed mild COVID-19 symptoms. Symptomatic students were given masks, but the retreat organizers did not conduct isolation or contact tracing. On July 13, 1 of the index patient’s 11 close contacts tested positive using RT-PCR at a local clinic, and the WDHS was notified of the outbreak on July 15.
A growing outbreak
WDHS performed RT-PCR tests on 148 participants on July 28 and again August 5 to 6 and showed that 116 participants (76%) confirmed (78; 51%) or likely (38; 25%) that COVID-19 was confirmed %) had. with at least 1 confirmed case in each dorm and yurt. No positive tests were found in four employees – two teachers, a school principal and a paramedic – who slept in separate rooms.
Notably, all 24 participants who had positive serological tests before the retreat had negative RT-PCR results, which, given the high rate of attack observed, suggests a positive protective effect. All confirmed positive and probable participants had mild to moderate illness with a low asymptomatic rate (1%) and no hospitalizations or deaths were reported.
The report confirms that SARS-CoV-2 can spread rapidly among adolescents and young adults in communities, and highlights the importance of robust COVID-19 prevention plans developed in collaboration with health authorities.
“To prevent the introduction of COVID-19, mitigation plans should also include pre-arrival quarantine, pre-arrival and post-arrival testing, as well as symptom screening, isolation and quarantine ability, cohort formation, physical distancing, mask use, improved hygiene and disinfection, and maximum Outdoor programming, “advise the authors.
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