Johnson County shuts down summer camp after at least 8 kids test positive for COVID-19

Johnson County health officials suspended an "indoor summer camp" sponsored by the Johnson County Park and Recreation District being hosted at Clear Creek Elementary in Shawnee following at least 8 positive COVID-19 cases at the camp. Image via Johnson County Appraiser's Office.

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment shuttered a county-run summer camp after an outbreak of COVID-19 cases among kids at the camp.

In a statement Monday, Johnson County public health director Sanmi Areola, Ph.D., said there were at least 8 positive cases of COVID-19 found at the camp hosted at Clear Creek Elementary School, 5815 Monticello Road, in Shawnee.

The school is in the USD 232 De Soto school district.

In addition, there were two more “probable cases” at the camp, Areola said.

The combined positive tests and probable cases of COVID-19 represented 42% of the camp’s cohort of participating children.

“Wearing masks [at the camp] was a recommendation but not mandated,” Areola’s emailed statement said. “Many of the children were not wearing masks.”

He added that JCDHE is working with the camp to isolate and quarantine those who are affected.

Children under 12 remain ineligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

County health officials say since the start of the pandemic last year, eight people between the ages of 5 and 11 have been hospitalized with COVID-19 in Johnson County, and there have been no confirmed deaths from the disease of anyone 11 or younger.

Three of the eight hospitalizations have occurred in the last two months.

Camp details

The camp at Clear Creek was one of a number of “indoor summer camps” for kids ages 5 to 12 sponsored by the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.

The camps were scheduled to include activities like “outdoor play time, sports, creative arts, weekly swimming and field trips,” according to JCPRD’s website.

The camps are hosted at facilities of local public school districts, including five in USD 232 and eight (hosted at four school buildings) in the Shawnee Mission School District.

The camp at Clear Creek Elementary began June 7 and was set to run through Aug. 6.

JCPRD’s website says campers’ fees will be prorated or refunded if a camp is closed “due to illness, state or local mandates.”

Currently, JCPRD does not require masks inside its facilities, but masks are “highly encouraged” for its summer programs and special events.