Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected to show that the Camp Mah-Kee-Nac positive test took place prior to the arrival of campers.
Two people have tested positive for COVID-19 as recreational summer camps kick off.
The positive tests took place at Camp Mah-Kee-Nac in Stockbridge and Kutsher’s Sports Academy in Monterey.
The test among Camp Mah-Kee-Nac personnel came back positive before any campers arrived, the camp told The Eagle.
The other positive test was in a camper at had arrived from out of state, said Tri Town Health Department Executive Director James Wilusz, who oversees a newly-formed South Berkshire public health collaborative that includes both towns.
The camper from Kutsher's Sports Academy was isolated immediately and retrieved by a parent, the camp told The Eagle, and second PCR tests for all other campers – five days after arrival – came back negative.
Wilusz said local camps have committed more resources to safety, testing and quarantining this summer than the state requires.
“When the DPH changed mandates and COVID safety rules, a lot of the camps continued to commit to PCR testing and rapid testing,” said Wilusz. “I’m glad the camps are capturing these with the PCR testing. If they didn’t, it could get out of control quickly.”
The camps have factored quarantine and isolation into their safety plans, Wilusz said.
“They’re allowed to isolate and quarantine on site,” he said. “And the camps have enough space and staff to deal with that.”
He said contact tracing for the cases moved rapidly thanks to the region’s new health collaborative, which was started with nearly $4 million from the state. The collaborative has hired two full-time nurses.
“Those nurses were already on board, so we could move more quickly to accommodate the camps,” he said.