Despite the many roadblocks, camps and colonies opened this summer, allowing for thousands of children and families to enjoy their freedom in the outdoors.
While some declared that they would create the doomsday resurgence, the camps and colonies found only isolated cases, and contained them.
Most recent of them was the Chabad “Mountain Lodge Estates” colony, where more than 60 chabad families spend each summer.
In an email to the members of the colony, the board wrote that “Unfortunately, there were positive Covid-19 cases reported at Mountain Lodge. This shabbos, three members of a family visiting MLE tested positive. These family members were in shul in both locations and interacted with various people in MLE.”
The colony immediately informed everyone who was potentially infected, and after consulting with the Gedalia society and Crown Heights physician Dr. Eli Rosen, advised anyone who had not been previously tested positive for antibodies to isolate for two weeks. All others were advised to continue as normal.
While Mountain Lodge was just the most recent, other colonies and camps have had their own cases, including Mei Menuchos, another chabad bungalow colony.
While these cases continue to pop up, no continued transmission has been traced from them, and each case has been traced to those who have traveled from out of town hotspot zones into the community.
In the last COVID update from the Gedaliah Society, they highlighted the dangers of such travel, saying “Many of these cases are associated with hotspot state travel.” The Society noted regarding the sporadic cases. “It would appear that for the foreseeable future new cases may appear on a fairly regular basis. The good news is that despite these sporadic cases, Boruch HaShem we have not seen any secondary cases or community spread from these infections into that segment of the population that remains at risk. We think this may be due to the degree of collective immunity that presumably exists within our community.”
The following was posted by the Mountain Lodge Board to their colony:
Unfortunately, there were positive Covid-19 cases reported at Mountain Lodge. This shabbos, three members of a family from Monsey visiting MLE tested positive. These family members were in shul in both locations and interacted with various people in MLE.
We have spoke with the Gedalia society and Dr. Rosen directly. According to the health department guidelines everyone at MLE would be required to quarantine. A modified approach is being taken by our health professionals in recognition of our community’s experience. However, please understand that this is not a decision taken lightly and we need to act properly and take the guidelines seriously.
The following are their directions which we intend to follow:
Anyone who previously tested positive for Covid or tested positive for antibodies does not need to quarantine. However you should be vigilant and monitor your health. If you feel sick, get tested and isolate. Pay special attention to social distancing.
Everyone else (who did not have the virus) must quarantine for two weeks. You can do it in MLE or in your home elsewhere wherever that might be
No visitors to MLE at all.
Shul should be closed. Outdoor minyanim. No kiddush. Ideally everyone should wear a mask.
Men’s mikvah should be closed. For details of the women’s mikvah please contact a member of the women’s mikvah committee
No social gatherings
Pool can remain open. Strict social distancing and limited occupancy
Day camp will continue to operate with greater vigilance.
Hopefully there will be no further cases, but we must be careful and do the right thing..