Coronavirus outbreak hits two Swiss summer camps

The health authorities are waiting for more test results of campers experiencing symptoms of the virus. (file photo) Keystone / Manuel Lopez

Coronavirus has been detected in 30 more people in the eastern canton of Graubünden after an outbreak at a summer camp on Thursday.

This content was published on July 24, 2020 - 14:43

Head of the Graubünden health department Rudolf Leuthold told Swiss television SRF there is a high probability that these infections are also related to the youth camp and numbers could rise.  About 250 people are in quarantine in connection with the youth camp, he said on Friday.

The outbreak began at a camp for 9-to-13-year-olds in Parpan near Lenzerheide when seven of the 100 participants became infected and two people were hospitalized. 

The local health department announced on Thursday that 80 of the 100 young people lived in canton Graubünden. Before symptoms appeared, some campers had already moved on to another camp – which was immediately called off, and its 30 participants sent into quarantine.

The Graubünden health department has ramped up protection measures to prevent the further spread of Covid-19. For example, business owners and event organizers have to check the accuracy of the contact data they collect – including full names and phone numbers. This data must be stored in electronically maintained lists.

Since the virus hit Switzerland around 33,500 people have tested positive to the virus and almost 2,000 have died in Switzerland, which has a population of 8.5 million. From its March peak, the number of new cases fell to around a dozen in early June, alongside a drop in hospital cases and deaths.

But since the easing of the lockdown from mid-June, the number of new cases has begun to slowly creep up in different parts of the country. There were 117 new cases reported in Switzerland on July 23. Over the past couple of weeks the average number of new cases has been around 100 per day.

On Friday it was also announced that 305 people had been placed into quarantine after somebody tested positive for coronavirus after visiting the Kapitel Bollwerk nightclub in Bern last Saturday.

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