Youth Church Camp COVID Outbreak Causes Concern


Monday, July 26th 2021, 5:03 pm
By: Augusta McDonnell


OKLAHOMA CITY -

A church camp at Falls Creek is causing concern, as some kids have returned home with COVID. 

News 9 has received many emails and social media messages in recent days from people reporting their child or someone they knew got COVID at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center. 

Over the past eight weeks, 4,000 kids per week attended church camp at Falls Creek, according to camp spokespeople. 

People stay in cabins and attend daily programming. 

News 9 received dozens of emails and social media messages about people coming home with positive COVID tests. 

Some people advised others to just stay home. 

Some churches reported returning to virtual services due to outbreaks from campers coming home.

Newcastle Baptist Church posted the following to their website on July 24: 

“As some of you might have heard, we have had a number of students and adults from Falls Creek test positive for COVID-19. While it pains us to do this, we feel it is in the best interest of the church, families, and community, to go to an online-only service this Sunday at 9:30 a.m.”

Church leaders added: 

“This is a very unusual situation with so many of our people being in one place altogether for such a long period of time. Moving forward, barring something incredibly unusual like our current situation, we will keep our normal schedule.” 

Oklahoma Baptists -- the general convention overseeing the church camp -- said they implemented strict protocols to protect people at the camp, but would not answer specific questions about vaccine requirements, masking, or testing. 

In a statement, they said:

“As the summer has unfolded, many areas of the United States including Oklahoma have seen COVID-19 cases increase. Having hosted around 4,000 participants each week, the number of positive COVID cases remains statistically low.”

The convention is wrapping up week 8 of its summer camp programming. 

The youth camp was canceled last summer due to COVID.