A counselor at a Pennsylvania sleep-away camp that serves numerous New York kids is infected with the coronavirus.
Camp Seneca Lake said it is delaying the opening of the camp for children by a “few days” as a health precaution after the staffer tested positive for COVID-19 during staff orientation.
New York parents who want to send their kids to sleep-over camp must send them to a facility out-of-state this summer because Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker banned the opening of such camps in the Empire State as too risky given the COVID-19 crisis.
A group of Jewish camp operators has sued Cuomo over the ban.
“We wanted to update you on a situation that took place at camp over the staff orientation,” Camp Seneca Lake said in a “Dear Parents” letter released Friday.
“As you are aware, we have a process in place that all staff and campers have to be tested [for COVID-19] and results cleared in our office before they are allowed to enter camp.
“All staff that arrived this week had negative results and were allowed to attend orientation.
“On arrival, we tested the staff again and one staff member tested positive for coronavirus when we got the results back last night.”
The letter continued, “He was put into isolation immediately and sent back home this morning.
“This staff member had zero signs of being sick but out of extreme caution we have quarantined any other staff members that came into contact with him and we will retest them again in a few days.”
The camp will open next Tuesday for kindergarten to sixth graders and Wednesday for older kids.
A source familiar with the situation said the counselor had come from Miami to work at the camp.
In the letter to parents, Seneca downplayed the positive test of one staffer — who has since left the grounds — and assured them it has a system in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the camp.
“We set up this process to be prepared for a situation like this and all protocols are being followed accordingly.
“Being July 4th weekend the results from these new tests won’t be available until this Monday evening. As a result of this, unfortunately, we will have to delay the start date of camp by a few days as we want to be overly cautious and be absolutely clear that anyone that was in contact with this staff member tests negative again.
“We have been in close contact with the Board of Health and have informed them of our plan.”
But a source familiar with the situation asked why Camp Seneca isn’t shutting down — or at least quarantining the counselors who were exposed to the infected staffer for at least 14 days.
Many Orthodox Jewish parents send their kids to the Camp Seneca Lake camp, a source said.