More than 85 cases of coronavirus have been connected to a camp in Illinois, officials said on Monday. They shared that one unvaccinated young adult was hospitalized. 

“The majority of the 85 Covid-19 cases associated with the youth camp are among teens,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in an official statement.

“The perceived risk to children may seem small, but even a mild case of Covid-19 can cause long-term health issues. Additionally, infected youth who may not experience severe illness can still spread the virus to others, including those who are too young to be vaccinated or those who don’t build the strong expected immune response to the vaccine,” Ezike added.

The Covid-19 outbreak happened in mid-June. Eleven more cases were reported after many people who were at the camp also went for a nearby conference, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) said. Among the cases, 70% occurred in those who were not vaccinated. The cases are mostly in Schuyler and Adams counties, reported Fox News.

"Although all campers and staff were eligible for vaccination, IDPH is aware of only a handful of campers and staff receiving the vaccine," the IDPH said. 

"The camp was not checking vaccination status and masking was not required while indoors. IDPH is reminding people about the importance of vaccination, including youth, as the Delta variant and other variants continue to spread." 

In connection with summer camps, the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance that includes recommended vaccines for everyone aged 12 and older to keep from getting and spreading Covid-19. It also said that camps, where everyone is fully vaccinated prior to the beginning of the session, can go for full capacity without using masks or maintaining social distancing, but those where some are not vaccinated should adopt various prevention strategies. 

IDPH is assisting local health departments involved in the youth camp and conference outbreaks and is working with CDC. Specimens have been sent for genomic sequencing to confirm if any of the cases were caused by variants.

As for vaccinations, by Monday, 59% of Illinois residents had got at least one dose and 46% were fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. Going by this, Illinois is relatively ahead of the national average when it comes to vaccinations. Only 54% of Americans have received at least one shot and 46% are fully vaccinated.

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