Forsyth health officials say they have traced more than a dozen Forsyth County COVID-19 cases to a Cherokee County religious camp attended recently by a number of youths and some adults from Forsyth.
The cluster of cases arose at Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters in Cherokee County, Public Health Director Joshua Swift said Tuesday in a statement from the local health department.
Cherokee County health officials were already investigating the cluster of coronavirus cases at the camp when people from Forsyth County were identified as being among those who tested positive for COVID-19, said Tony Lo Giudice, the assistant health director in Forsyth County.
Lo Giudice said 19 Forsyth County residents who attended the camp were confirmed as testing positive. Lo Giudice was not able to break down the number to detail the ages of the people affected.
Lo Giudice was also not able to say which church sent the campers to Snowbird, adding that more than one church may have done so.
The camp describes itself online as a "Gospel-driven, high-adventure discipleship camp and conference location in North Carolina." On its website, the organization says "Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters is following the World Health Organization and the CDC recommendations to prevent the spread of germs at SWO while closely monitoring the situation at large."
It also asks that people with COVID-19 symptoms "not participate."
The camp did not return a call asking for comment, but Lo Giudice said his office is not telling people they shouldn’t go to camp. Just be careful, he said.
“Don’t go if you don’t feel well,” he said. “If you are at camp, maintain distance, wash your hands, follow the guidelines.
COVID-19 in Forsyth County and NC
Daily Forsyth County COVID-19 cases through Aug. 25
COVID-19 cases in Forsyth County by race/ethnicity
COVID-19 cases in Forsyth County by age
Forsyth County active and recovered cases through Aug. 25
Rates of COVID-19 cases in N.C. metro counties
Rates of COVID-19 cases
COVID-19 in North Carolina
N.C. COVID-19 hospitalizations
XX HIDE VERTICAL GALLERY ASSET TITLES –
By the numbers
New COVID-19 cases reported Tuesday in Forsyth County: 39
Forsyth deaths reported Tuesday: 3
Total Forsyth cases since reporting began in mid-March: 5,915
Total deaths among Forsyth residents: 69
Total Forsyth residents considered recovered: 5186 (about 88%)
Total COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the Triad region as of Monday (the latest day available): 263, up by 8 from Sunday.
New COVID-19 cases reported Tuesday in North Carolina: 1,345. That's about half the number of the highest daily count on record, which was July 18 when 2,431 new cases were reported.
N.C. deaths reported Tuesday: 35
Total N.C. cases since reporting began in March: 157,741
Total N.C. residents considered recovered as of Monday (most recent data available): 136,630
N.C. tests reported Tuesday: 8,467, the fewest daily tests reported since May 18.
N.C. tests reported Monday: 11,074, which has increased by more than 2,000 since first being reported Monday.
Percentage of N.C. tests returning positive results on Monday (latest day available): 7%. The highest-ever percentage of positive tests was 16%. That number was reported on April 12, when 7,999 were tested, as well as on April 16, when 3,576 were tested.
Number of N.C. COVID-19 patients reported hospitalized on Monday (latest day available): 1,000, up by 53 from Sunday.
What stands out in the latest numbers: While testing numbers reported Tuesday are comparatively low, the state appears to be adding to the total after initial reports are released.
Journal Digital Editor Ragan Robinson contributed to this report.