Possible coronavirus case at Kamp Kanakuk in Taney County

Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 9:32 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 9, 2020 at 10:18 PM CDT
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More unanswered questions revolving around Camp Kanakuk and COVID cases.

KY3 told you there were 82 cases at their K2 Lampe location. There may be at least one case at the Kanakuk camp in Taney County.

Camp officials at Kanakuk tell me at the beginning of the summer they created a clear plan on how to prevent COVID, what to do if they got any positive cases, and they are now having to put that plan into place.

Kanakuk summer camp is a staple in the Branson and Lampe communities, with kids of all ages, from all over the country looking to have fun. But, this year things have been different from the pandemic stretching across the nation, especially here in the Ozarks. Missouri government officials have been in favor of camps opening.

“School is incredibly important for young people, we also think camps should are important, I was a boy scout, an eagle scout,” said Dr. Randall Williams.

But they also encouraged places like Kanakuk to have a safety plan in place in case COVID-19 cases starting popping up, which has happened. There has been 82 cases linked to their high school k-2 camp location in Lampe just days ago. It’s now been shut down.

“They are planning to open an abbreviated session once they have isolated those staffers and gotten their tests back negative,” said Dr. Williams.

But a mother whose son was the K-1 camp in Taney County told NBC News an email went to parents late Monday night that K-1 also had a confirmed coronavirus case.

The mother said the camp was now ending the session midterm and sending both campers and counselors home.

KY3′s Christine Morton showed up today at the K-1 camp to ask about this possible new case. She says he could hear children laughing and it didn’t seem closed. She tried asking the communications director, Jeff Mason questions, he refused to do an on-camera interview and told us not to stay on the property.

She asked if he could confirm the case at the Taney County location, he wouldn’t. Mason just said they have had 34 positive cases from people tested at the camps. When KY3 tried to clarify if the 34 were part of those 82 from earlier this week, Mason would only say 34 people have tested positive from the camps.

The Taney County Health Department wouldn’t interview either and wouldn’t even confirm tonight if there had been a new case at this other camp.

Camp Kanakuk did release a full statement:

Kanakuk Statement re: COVID-19 Cases

Kanakuk created an exhaustive COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan in preparation for this summer. As of this date, that plan has allowed Kanakuk to successfully operate 37 camp weeks COVID-19 free across our six camp facilities. This summer, over 5,000 campers and staff have enjoyed a fun, safe and wholesome Kanakuk summer camp experience in the sunshine and fresh air of the beautiful Ozarks.

To date, Kanakuk has received 34 positive results for COVID-19 tests performed onsite, with additional positive results reported to us from tests performed off site from campers and staff who have returned home. When COVID-19 initially presented at camp, Kanakuk’s Health Task Force immediately began implementing its plan for isolation, contact tracing and communication to camp families. The Kanakuk team has been working closely with Stone and Taney County Health Departments to create and execute a plan that exceeds guidelines set forth by the CDC, State and Local Health Departments.

Upon the event that other positive cases arise, we will work to notify parents and send campers home in a safe and timely manner and with the recommendation to quarantine their household for 14 days.

Attribution of Statement: Jeff Mason Kanakuk Communications Director

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.