COVID-19 outbreak tied to weeklong church retreat

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(DAYTON, Ohio) — A COVID-19 outbreak has been reported among attendees of a church retreat, officials announced.

At least 30 positive cases have been identified so far in people who took part in the weeklong event, health officials confirmed.

Dayton and Montgomery County Public Health said more than 800 people attended the Baptist Church retreat at Camp Chautauqua in Miamisburg, Ohio, from June 27 to July 3. Visitors came to the event from churches across Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana.

Dr. Michael Dohn, medical director for Dayton & Montgomery County Public Health, spoke out about his concern, stating: “Unvaccinated people, including children under 12 years of age, are up to 100 times more likely to get sick after exposure to COVID-19 compared to fully vaccinated individuals.”

Dohn added: “the outbreak demonstrates that the COVID-19 virus is still circulating and continues to make people sick.”

The positive cases were so far identified in attendees from Ohio and Kentucky.

One person tested positive for COVID-19 during the final days of the retreat and was “immediately quarantined off campus,” Jason Harmeyer, President of the Chautauqua Camp and Conference Center said in a statement. Event organizers then proceeded to monitor individuals associated with that group for symptoms and conducted regular temperature checks.

Health officials investigating the outbreak said camp and event organizers had failed to provide contact information for attendees after the initial cases were recognized, so authorities were asking anyone who may have attended the retreat to contact them or their local health department.

The camp organizer said it was in regular contact with group leaders to take necessary precautions.

It is unknown how many attendees had received COVID-19 vaccinations.

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