DeMOTTE — After a number of local teens and adults attended a church camp in Blackford County, in east-central Indiana, positive cases of COVID-19 were reported.
One family, whose children attended the camp, all have tested positive or shown symptoms of the virus in the last two weeks.
The church camp, Lake Placid Christian Conference Center, is in Hartford City. The local group attended the week of July 13-17. According to one source, a Facebook post on the camp’s page, Monday, July 20, stated there were two positive cases and it would close down for two weeks; however, that post has since been removed.
Pastor James Clark, of Calvary Assembly of God Church in DeMotte, said the teens from the church were required to have their temperature checked throughout the week, social distance and wear masks as directed by the Blackford County Health Dept. At that time, with the state still at Phase 4.5 of reopening, masks and face coverings were not required but were recommended when social distancing was not possible, both inside and outside.
Clark said the positive cases of the novel coronavirus cannot be traced back to the camp and some may have been exposed in other areas of their lives.
“We don’t know where they got it,” he said. “It could have come through other means. The reality is, yes, we had some cases. We do not know where it began or originated from.”
Clark said they decided to cancel in-person services on July 26 due to a number of congregants who have since tested positive in the last two or three weeks. The CDC is recommending a quarantine of 10 days as opposed to 14 the center had decreed safe at the start of the pandemic.
He said there were adults who have tested positive that had no contact with any of the teens or adults who attended the camp.
“We did everything we were supposed to do,” Clark said.
Currently, in-person services are scheduled to begin again Aug. 2, which is past the recommended quarantine number of days.
In Jasper County, the number of positive test results rose July 28 to 189 from 162 just a week ago. The number of tests reported were 3,222, up from 2,964 on July 21 — approximately 5.5% positivity rate remaining between both weeks, and only increasing by a minuscule amount from last week to this week. The county has held steady at two deaths.
Those reportedly testing positive after camp have experienced mild to no symptoms.
One parent said the family has had mild symptoms so far, and they have just finished the 10-day quarantine. They are now waiting to be symptom-free for 72 hours before returning to activities outside the home.
Another parent said they debated on whether to send their child to camp or not, and will not do so again until there is a vaccine. Their child has tested negative after returning home from the camp.
Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a mandate beginning July 27 that a mask or face covering is required when inside a public building and outside if social distancing cannot be maintained. Restaurants may remain open and staff must wear a mask or face covering while diners eat without coverings.
Kankakee Valley schools will open Aug. 12, with all students and staff, from third grade and above required to wear masks or face coverings. This changed with the governor’s mandate. Prior to Monday, the school corporation “strongly recommended” masks or face coverings for students and staff.
Holcomb has also held back from completely reopening the state, which was scheduled to happen on July 4, but since has been held at the current reopening phase, dubbed Phase 4.5.