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Church camp COVID-19 outbreak should serve as 'cautionary tale,' Galveston Co. health official says

More than 400 people attended the student ministry camp. Now, more than 125 campers and adults who attended have tested positive for COVID-19.

GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas — Clear Creek Community Church in League City will be closed this week after more than 125 people came home from summer camp and tested positive for COVID-19.

RELATED: Galveston Co. health officials investigating COVID outbreak at church camp

The student ministry camp was for 6th to 12th graders, which means most are eligible to be vaccinated. However, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows most kids in that age group aren't vaccinated.

RELATED: COVID-19 outbreak at church camp may help in research of Delta variant

“Throughout the country, the rates are not that great so there are a lot of susceptible children,” said Dr. Catherine Troisi, an infectious diseases epidemiologist at UTHealth School of Public Health.

According to the CDC, one in five kids between 12 and 15 years old are fully vaccinated. In the 16 to 17-year-old age group, approximately one in three have gotten the shots.

The pastor of the League City church said more than 400 people attended the camp. More than 100 people have tested positive for the virus, but many more may have been exposed.

The Galveston County Health District is working to confirm the positive cases.

“We’re testing for the Delta variant to see if that’s the cause for it spreading so rapidly among that group,” Dr. Philip Keiser said. “It’s a good cautionary tale for other churches considering get-togethers. Be careful, particularly when planning get-togethers for kids who most of whom haven’t been vaccinated yet.”

Keiser said some of the church members infected in League City have been vaccinated.

Clear Creek Community Church released the following message on social media over the weekend:

Dear Church Family,

Services at CCCC campuses are canceled for Sunday July 4 and Wednesday July 7 due to a significant number of people testing positive for COVID-19 after returning from camp.

Our recent Student Ministry Camp was a wonderful experience with many of our students placing their faith in Jesus and growing in their faith. More than 400 people participated in our Camp Creek (6th grade – 12th grade) last week, the reports are enthusiastically positive.

Unfortunately, upon return from camp, 125+ campers and adults reported to us that they tested positive for COVID-19. Additionally, hundreds more were exposed to COVID-19 at camp. And hundreds of others were likely exposed when infected people returned home from camp. We seek to remain in contact with those impacted. If you, or someone in your family, begins to have symptoms, please seek medical attention immediately.

In cooperation with the Galveston County Health District, we decided to cancel services and to issue a press release. We anticipate that services will resume Sunday, July 11.

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. Our hearts break for those infected with the virus. Please pray for a speedy and complete recovery for all of those affected.

Grace and Peace,

Bruce Wesley