But while staff were required to wear cloth masks, the camp did not ask campers to do so, and did not open windows and doors to increase air circulation in buildings. Campers spent the night in cabins, with an average of 15 occupants each.
Many of the camp’s activities – which took place both indoors and outdoors – included “vigorous chanting and cheering,” which may increase the spread of the virus, according to the report.
The case highlights the limits of the demand for evidence of negative coronavirus tests before large gatherings, Dr Malani said.
“Testing is not always synonymous with safety,” she added. “This has to be combined with individuals adhering to strict quarantine. And it’s hard for young people to do, on a college campus and kindergarten to grade 12. “
The inconsistent wearing of the mask is also problematic, she said.
“Even though the staff wore masks around the campers, it’s likely that when they were back in their quarters at night, they weren’t – because that’s what is happening,” said Dr Malani. “It’s hard to do because it’s not natural to have to take a distance all the time and wear a mask.”
In a recent study of an outbreak at a high school in Jerusalem that began 10 days after resuming in-person classes in late May, 13% of students and 16% of staff eventually tested positive.
Although students were expected to wear face masks and practice social distancing, the researchers concluded that overcrowded classrooms of 38 students made distancing impossible. Air conditioning may have accelerated the spread of the virus.