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Study Highlights Jewish Camp As Proof Camping During Covid Can Be Safe

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The Centers for Disease Control has released a research study carried out by the medical committee for Camp Ramah network in Ontario. The study highlighted the Jewish camps‘ highly effective security measures to prevent COVID-19’s spread this past summer, a report said.

In June and August, nine Ramah campers tested positive for the disease from a total of more than 7,000 kids and teens who attended nine of the Conservative group’s ten camps, according to the study.

“Three of the nine cases occurred in vaccinated staff members and six in unvaccinated campers aged 8-14 years. The three staff member cases were identified before the arrival of campers,” the study summary reads. COVID-19 vaccines currently are not offered to children under 12.

The authors emphasize that a combination of mandatory testing before attending camp repeated testing while at camp, frequent hand washing, and the establishment of “pods,” or isolated groups of campers, led to a successful summer.

Campers in a specific cabin became a pod and could interact freely without masks or other restrictions. After rounds of testing, multiple pods merged over time. Three camps achieved camp-wide “pod expansion.”

Rabbi Mitchell Cohen, national director of the National Ramah Commission, described the procedure. It involved rotating groups of campers into prayer groups and setting up plastic partitions in dining halls.

He described it as “absolutely exhausting but incredibly exhilarating.”

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