A New York sleepaway camp was the site of a COVID outbreak, where 31 campers under the age of 12 tested positive for COVID-19, but none of the campers older than 12, who were vaccinated, did. 

Camp Pontiac in Copake, New York, identified its first positive COVID test result from a camper on July 16, when the virus spread further among its 550 camper. Half were between the ages of 7 and 11, while the other half were between the ages of 12 and 17, Jack Mabb, New York’s Columbia County Department of Health Director told CNN.

“The initial outbreak was on the girls side but the latest new cases are on the boys side,” Mabb told the news outlet. “The bulk of the cases came as a result of testing that was done with symptomatic campers this past weekend.”

He continued by saying all but a few of the positive cases had been sent home from the camp as well as the 88 contacts. Those that were not sent home, “live too far away to go home easily,” he explained to CNN.

None of the 12 and older campers tested positive for COVID, with only four in that age group unvaccinated. No positive cases have been found among the 275 staff members either, of which fewer than 10 remained unvaccinated.

The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for use for children 12 and older, while the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine can be used on children aged 18 and older. The children who tested positive for COVID-19 at Camp Pontiac were under the age of 12 and ineligible for the shot.

It is unclear when a COVID vaccine will be available for children under the age of 12, but some experts have said by the start of the next school year.

Camp Pontiac is continuing to test all unvaccinated campers at least twice this week at the recommendation of the New York State Department of Health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that children that attend summer camps and are vaccinated do not have to wear face masks.

Summer Camp Pictured: Representative image. Photo: Beth Gilbert-Crowell/Pixabay