Summer camps unexpectedly shut down due to rising COVID-19 cases in Central Texas

Education

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Some summer camps across Central Texas are being unexpectedly shut down after kids tested positive for the coronavirus.

This comes as the new and more contagious delta variant is making its way across the area.

In Georgetown, Camp Goodwater reported six positive cases over the last week. After consulting with city leadership and the safety and risk program, the decision was made to close the camp through Friday, July 23.

All staff are now in mandatory quarantine and the equipment that was used by participants has been disinfected. Whether or not the next scheduled weekly camp set to begin on Monday will continue is expected to be determined by tomorrow.

Eight-year-old Mallory Grimes was one of the Goodwater campers who tested positive. On Wednesday, she was in good spirits, but is still coping with some minor, lingering symptoms. Her father, Don Grimes, wondered if his family has recently took health and safety precautions too lightly.

“I think we probably let our guard down a little bit, thinking that most things were getting back to normal,” Grimes said. “I just want the whole thing to be over and everybody to be safe. If that means we have to mask up and go back to where we were a few months ago, I’m going to do it.”

In Austin, the popular Bowie High School Cheer Kiddie Camp was also unexpectedly shut down.

Parents received an email: “I regret to inform you that Cheer Kiddie Camp has been canceled for the remainder of the week.”

Austin ISD confirmed that one person had tested positive. The district says contact tracing is currently underway to identify and notify anyone who may have been exposed.

Parents wonder if this new uptick in positive cases may impact school plans in the fall, which is scheduled to begin in less than a month for most districts.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott doubled down on Wednesday, saying mask mandates will not be enforced. The governor said it’s up to families to choose what works best for them.

“Kids will not be forced by government or by schools to wear a mask in school. They can by parental choice wear a mask, but there will be no government mandate to wear a mask,” Abbott said.

Reach KXAN’s Education Reporter Alex Caprariello by email at alexc@kxan.com or by phone at 512-703-5365, or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

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