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Kanakuk K2 camp COVID-19 cases increase; Parents speak out

Coronavirus

LAMPE, Mo. — Kamp Kanakuk has more COVID-19 cases confirmed by the health department and one parent feels the camp wasn’t being transparent enough with the issue.

Mia Chase is from the greater Dallas area and a mother of two Kanakuk K2 campers. She says her boys were some of the last kids to be picked up from the camp.

“He said, ‘Mom why haven’t you called, why haven’t you communicated with the camp when you’re coming to pick me up?'” said Chase. “That was the very first I’d heard that anything happened, that the camp was shutting down, that they were closing the term, that kids were going home.”

Thirty-one patients were tested at the camp and the rest were tested at home. Most of the people with COVID-19 have returned home, which is out of the area for most of them.

“When we talked to them about the prospect of opening up for the summer, you’ve got to remember this was about in May, I think, mid-May, we certainly were aware that this could happen,” said Dr. Randall Williams, director of Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services. “So, we asked them and other camps to have a very extensive plan for how they were going to keep that from happening. If it happened, what would be their plan to do that?”

The Stone County Health Department is staying in contact with Kamp Kanakuk and Missouri health officials.

“We have worked with Kanakuk Kamps to strengthen their plan and they have done extraordinary measures to up the disinfecting of the areas to have the kids wear the buffs or the masks while they are around the other campers. Unfortunately, when you get a bunch of people together in closed quarters like this, this is what happens,” said Pam Burnett, administrator at the Stone County Health Department.

Chase says her boys told her the mask requirement wasn’t being fully enforced.

“Counselors were telling the campers to wear them, but that every five minutes or so, campers were pulling them down,” said Chase.

Holly Thompson, another parent with children who go to Kamp Kanakuk, Isn’t worried about sending her children to this camp.

“I currently have children at Kanakuk and there have been zero reported cases at every other Kanakuk Kamp, with the exception of K2.
The mood while my kiddo was at K2 was that everyone was so surprised nobody even got the “kanacrud” (summer cold), which usually spreads through Kamp like wildfire. They get it every year. They were required to take two showers a day, wear masks except while in the cabin; eating or doing sports, social distancing was always in effect, they couldn’t serve themselves meals, all food was proportioned and only the counselor for that cabin brought food from the kitchen and served the food. They took temperatures multiple times daily and every time they left and entered a building, they hand sanitized. I Have another kiddo going to a different Kanakuk towards the end of the summer and I’m not even slightly concerned.”

Holly Thompson, parent of K2 campers

According to Williams, the camp is hoping to reopen after going through the proper procedures.

“They’re planning to open up an abbreviated session once they’ve isolated those staffers and gotten the tests back that are negative,” said Williams.

KOLR10 tried reaching out to Kanakuk Kamps for a response to the outbreak. However, we are still waiting for that response.

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