Youth Camp COVID-19 Outbreak Infects People at Decatur Church | Best Stories

DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) – From camping to quarantine, a few people from a church in Decatur recently tested positive for COVID-19.

This was after the church attended a youth camp where 85 teenagers and adults contracted the virus. A relative told WAND News how the whole situation left his family concerned.

A mother from Decatur expressed her frustration. She wouldn’t disclose her name, however, her daughter recently attended a central Illinois youth camp with their Decatur church. The Shuyler County camp is where the Illinois Department of Public Health has confirmed an outbreak of COVID-19.

“If I had been warned my child would not have attended,” said the mother. “My daughter is nervous. She feels bad. She is confused.”

Fortunately, her child tested negative for the virus. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that her daughter was at risk of bringing COVID-19 home. The woman told WAND News that a chaperone who was on the campsite trail told her there was “nothing to worry about.”

WAND News then contacted Randall Garrett. Garrett is the senior pastor of First General Baptist Church in Decatur, the church attended by the woman and her daughter. Garrett said they discovered the outbreak a day before leaving the camp.

“We mentioned – you know – here’s something we want to know. How are you feeling? Do you have symptoms,” Garrett said.

The senior pastor confirmed that a child and two adults had contracted the virus. To Garrett’s understanding, another church before the FGBC campsite sparked the outbreak. He said the facility was subsequently disinfected.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said at least 70% of cases had not been vaccinated. WAND News recently reported that it was not mandatory to be vaccinated to attend camp and that wearing a mask was not mandatory.

“I don’t feel like the ball has fallen,” Garrett said. “We have taken normal precautions. I feel like we put the safety of our children first.”

The parent, however, wants better communication. The epidemics occurred in Schuyler and Adams counties. About 40% of the population is fully vaccinated.


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