Public health officials: COVID outbreak at Miamisburg summer camp impacts 44 churches

Posted at 5:19 PM, Jul 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 17:48:28-04

MIAMISBURG, Ohio — A COVID-19 outbreak at a camp in Miamisburg is impacting families across Greater Cincinnati, according to Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County (PHDMC).

Public information supervisor Dan Suffoletto said the outbreak began at Camp Chatuaqua, 43 miles north of Cincinnati. He said an estimated 800 people showed up for church camp there from June 28 to July 2.

Two weeks later, contact tracers confirmed 78 positive cases stemming from the camp, Suffoletto said, and that's probably not all.

"Most likely there are other cases out there," he said. "They just have not been identified yet."

Suffoletto said the 78 people attended the camp with churches from Ohio and Kentucky.

PHDMC connected the following number of positive cases to churches in these counties:

  • Boone County, Kentucky: 40
  • Pulaski County, Kentucky: 20
  • Hamilton County, Ohio: 3
  • Butler County, Ohio: 1
  • Montgomery County, Ohio: 12
  • Franklin County, Ohio: 2

Forty-four of those are from the WCPO viewing area.

"We are trying to identify everyone who was there," said Suffoletto. "We want to make people aware of what the situation is. We also want to make sure, of course, those people who are sick are getting proper treatment and are isolating at home. If there is a need for quarantine, we want to make sure that those people are quarantined and notified of that. And also, we want to tell people that there may not be a need to quarantine."

In a post on the camp's Facebook page Monday, camp president Jason Harmeyer wrote in part:

"Once we were made aware of additional cases we informed all group leaders for that week that there had been positive cases and confirmed that individuals were taking the necessary steps to help mitigate the spread."

WCPO reached out to the camp to find out what those steps were but did not immediately hear back Thursday afternoon.

Public health leaders said vaccination is the best protection: If you aren’t vaccinated, counties across the nation say masks and social distancing are crucial to stopping the spread of the virus.

“COVID itself is not over with yet, and there’s still a lot of cases out there,” said Suffoletto. “Certainly, the people who are not vaccinated are at risk.”