OAKLAND (KPIX) — A youth summer camp run by the city of Oakland was shut down on Friday after someone tested positive for the coronavirus. Parents found out it was a camp staff member.
“Yeah, it was fun,” said six-year-old Oscar about his experience at the camp.
While it was fun for Oscar, mom Anya Shapina said it’s been a headache. She says the infected staffer worked in Oscar’s pod.
“We had to isolate our grandmother, Oscar’s grandmother. So it’s impossible to isolate him to one room of course — he’s six and a half. So now my mother has to stay in her room,” Shapina said. She add that the family will stay put for the next 14 days.
City spokeswoman Karen Boyd released a statement reading: “the individual was wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and observed other safety protocols. However, out of an abundance of caution, programs were suspended on Friday and the facility received heightened cleaning.”
It’s expected the city will reopen the camp Monday.
The city has been running a summer camp at the Montclair Recreation Center since June 29. Twenty-seven kids are assigned to a number of pods, doing outdoor activities. The city said it followed all CDC guidelines but the kids told their parents they were eating inside and didn’t always wear a mask while playing outside.
“I’m not happy to find out they were eating at the same table together without masks on,” Shapina said.
“When you’re inside, when you’re eating and you’re not wearing a mask, you’re congregated together, less than six feet, that introduces a little higher risk,” said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious-diseases physician at U.C. San Francisco. Dr. Chin-Hong is not involved with this specific case.
“Younger kids less than 10 are less likely to get covid as well as transmit covid to adults,” Dr. Chin-Hong said.
Anya said the city should close the camp longer instead of reopening on Monday.
“Some other kids or staffers could have contracted it from the same person and then they wouldn’t know their test results next week by Monday. So I don’t know how they are reopening next week,” Shapina said.
As schools start in August, the discussion for many is ‘what’s the right approach when there is a positive case?’ Some believe how Oakland handled this camp could be an early model for schools and learning pods. Contact-tracing, shut down, clean and reopen.
“I think they do need to go back to school. The question that I think we’re all struggling with is ‘How quickly? How much is too much? How fast is too much?'” said Oakland parent Tom Langlois.
The city said this is their first positive case at a summer camp since they opened the program last month. They have about 350 kids at 22 locations across the Oakland.