Two campers tested for COVID-19 at Juneau summer camp, prompting preventative closure

Camper cabins at Echo Ranch Bible Camp in winter. (Flickr photo by Kristin Harvey)

Echo Ranch Bible Camp has canceled all remaining summer camp sessions this year after two campers were tested for COVID-19. 

In a Facebook post and message sent to parents, staff wrote that two campers had become ill shortly after attending the camp. They wrote that parents of campers who attended at the same time were also being notified.

In a phone interview Monday, camp Director Randy Alderfer said they had learned one of the campers received a negative test result, but they were still waiting to hear about the other.

Alderfer said even though they still don’t have confirmation that COVID-19 was ever present in the camp, they canceled the final two sessions as a preventative measure.

It has been brought to our attention that two campers who recently attended Echo Ranch have become ill and are awaiting…

Posted by Echo Ranch Bible Camp on Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Christian overnight camp next to Point Bridget State Park canceled sessions earlier this year because of the pandemic, but re-opened in late June with a mitigation plan approved by the City and Borough of Juneau. 

That plan included extra sanitizing for surfaces and bathroom facilities and staggered meals and chapel services to lower the capacity indoors. It also says that any campers or staff showing signs of illness would be quarantined. 

The plan did not require campers or staff to wear face masks, but parents could provide one for their child if they wanted them to wear it. 

They held four one-week sessions before deciding to cancel the last two sessions.

Echo Ranch campers attend in age groups ranging from 7 – 9 to 14 – 18. They stay in cabins with groups of about 10 kids and two counselors.

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