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COVID outbreak at Iowa summer camp sends campers home early

Summer Camp

For some kids in a central Iowa town, they've been waiting a year or more to go to camp this summer.

Those plans got cut short at Riverside Bible Camp, after multiple staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

"You're seeing camp now, and it's empty yesterday. The field behind me over here, it was full of kids worshiping outside." Said Chris Dahl, Camp Director.

Riverside Bible Camp Director Chris Dahl is feeling a bit lonely today. He had to make the difficult decision this week to send 200 elementary kids home after an outbreak of COVID-19.

“The great care and concern for the health and safety of our campers and staff, which is number one to us, we made that difficult decision to end camp early," said Dahl.

Dahl says one staff member tested positive Monday, then seven more tested, positive Wednesday. Most of the staff either are vaccinated or had contracted COVID-19 last year, the bible camp was closed last summer during the pandemic. And everyone was hoping this summer would return to normal. So the phone calls went out to 200 families who had to pick up their children three days early.

"Yeah, it's it's disappointing. I know the campers are disappointed. They've been looking forward to coming to summer camp, a lot of them for two years. And so it's disappointing," said Dahl.

One question remains – when will the bible camp reopen.

The staff is working on that now.

So far, there are no reports of campers testing positive for COVID-19.

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