Raleigh officials disappointed, concerned by report of COVID-19 exposure at summer camp


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Campers in Raleigh may have been exposed to COVID-19 on the first day summer camps were allowed to open.

The person was part of a youth day camp at Millbrook Exchange Park. A city spokesperson said the person tested positive on Sunday.

“The reaction from staff was one of disappointment and concern because we felt that we had put all of our safety precautions in place to not only protect our campers but also our staff and so hat what we understand that what we had in place there was no way we could’ve caught what happened with this particular individual,” said Oscar Carmona, director of the Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department.

The city, due to privacy laws, didn’t say if the person was a camper or a staff member. However, the person was only at the camp last Monday, which was the first day. Officials said they didn’t have any symptoms at the time.

“I think it was unavoidable, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t figure out ways we can step up our precautions,” Carmona said.

Carmona added that they’re now evaluating how they can make camps safer. The city notified two dozen families about the COVID-19 case. They’re asked to isolate their kids for two weeks before returning to camp. They’re refunding families for days missed.

“We do realize that, if we have that outlier case, that we just want to minimize exposure as much as possible.”

Carmona said they’ve taken many precautions for participants.

Staff and campers have regular wellness screenings, wear masks, and practice social distancing.

“We did understand that there was a risk factor involved. However, as I had mentioned to you, we have that duty to provide that essential service to the working families of Raleigh and surrounding communities.”

The city said it has about a third of the typical number of campers this summer.

“Hopefully we can at least have a great summer for everybody involved,” Carmona said.

Campers who were scheduled to start at Millbrook Exchange Park on Monday are being moved to other sites.

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