Jul 6, 2021 - Health

At least 125 COVID-19 cases linked to Texas church summer camp

Man receives a Covid-19 vaccine

COVID-19 vaccine at John Sealy Hospital in Galveston, Texas, on Dec. 15, 2020. Photo: Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images

At least 125 children and adults contracted COVID-19 after returning from a Texas church summer camp in June, Clear Creek Community Church Lead Pastor Bruce Wesley confirmed in a statement.

Why it matters: In addition to those who tested positive for the virus, "hundreds more" were exposed to COVID-19 at the camp and "hundreds of others were likely exposed" when attendees returned to their communities, per the statement.

The big picture: More than 400 people participated in the church's four-day "Camp Creek" for 6th t0 12th graders last month.

  • Wesley added the Clear Creek Community Church would cancel its Sunday services this week due to the infections. Services are expected to resume July 11.

State of play: The Galveston County Health District is working with the church to investigate the outbreak and provide contact tracing, GCHD confirmed in a statement last Friday.

  • The first positive COVID-19 case linked to the camp was reported on June 27, GCHD said.
  • Although the camp was outside Galveston County, 57 residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and another 90 (including noncounty residents) have self-reported to GCHD, GCHD said in a statement Tuesday.
  • Among the confirmed cases, at least three samples were of the Delta variant, GCHD noted. More samples are being tested.

What they're saying: "From the beginning of the pandemic, we have sought to love our neighbors by practicing strict safety protocols. We are surprised and saddened by this turn of events," said Wesley.

  • "This is a reminder that COVID-19 is still here and we have to take precautions," Philip Keiser, Galveston County Local Health Authority, said.
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