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COVID-19 Pauses Local Sailing Camp

Bay Area summer sailing camps, many of which would normally include overnight stays, have been operating under stringent COVID guidelines to ensure the safety of all involved. However, recently a participant in Call of the Sea’s “Young Salts Adventure Camp” program tested positive for COVID-19. The person had shown no symptoms and was tested along with the rest of his family as part of their own precautionary protocol. The other family members tested negative.

Kayak lessons
Social distancing is tricky for kids, but they are doing a great job.
© 2020 Jay Grant

Although public health officials advise that the tests are not 100% accurate, Call of the Sea (COTS) immediately halted all of its activities and informed participating families and staff of the situation.

COTS executive officer Steven Woodside said in a newsletter, “We suspended all of our sailing and camping activities until we could confirm the safety of our staff, facilities, and participants in our programs. Even though it will cost time and money, we believe that it is prudent to stay tied to the pier and get back on course only when we have reliable information that it is safe to do so.”

Call of the Sea’s camp crew were promptly booked in for a rapid-result test, and over the following week all came back with a negative result. Many of the camp participants’ families also booked in to be tested and received negative readings. The young camper who had tested positive was retested, twice, and was given a negative both times. His family, who originally tested negative, were also given the all-clear after retesting.

Despite the good results COTS has stood down its operations until the designated quarantine time has passed.

“Given that a negative test is also not a guarantee, out of an abundance of caution, we will stay in our safe harbor until 14 days have run and no one has symptoms of the virus. After this pause in our operations, we will resume camps and sailing soon — and in a manner that is even more protective than before.”

Summer Camps despite COVID-19
A mask can’t hide the pride in this young camper’s eyes as she sits by the model boat she built during the “Young Salts Camp”
© 2020 Fiona Rhodes

The good news is that the 14 days end this weekend and the next camp session will commence on August 17. Campers, parents and crew are all excited to get back onboard for the remainder of the camp season.

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