Missouri summer camp closes after 82 kids, staffers infected with coronavirus: reports

Despite the outbreak at the camp, Missouri officials have no plans to shut down other summer camps

Summer camp officials in Stone County, Mo., took precautions against the coronavirus — but 82 campers, counselors and staff tested positive for the virus anyway, according to reports.

Now the camp near Branson is closed, and everyone has gone home – with only one of those infected residing in Stone County, KFSM-TV of Fort Smith, Ark., reported.

Thirty-one people tested positive while at the Kanakuk K-2 camp and the rest tested positive after they went home, the station reported.


Despite the outbreak at the camp, Missouri officials have no plans to shut down other summer camps, Dr. Randall Williams, director of the state Health Department, told The Associated Press.

“We think school is incredibly important to kids. We also think camps are important,” he said.

Parents learned about the shutdown last week, NBC News reported.

“As your Kamper returns home, we recommend that you consider a 14-day self-quarantine for your child and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19,” Rebecca Duncan, the camp’s health services director, reportedly wrote to parents.

Other camp shutdowns have occurred this year in Oregon, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, the AP reported, while outbreaks without shutdowns have happened in Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Some parents have been pulling their kids out of camps – even if that means trouble getting a refund.


Tara Carlson of Omaha, Neb., said she lost more than $300 by bringing home her 9-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter as a precaution.

“I didn’t feel I could trust what other families were doing as far as social distancing,” Carlson told the AP.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.