POLLOCK PINES (CBS13) – Sly Park, a well-known environmental education camp in El Dorado County, closed Thursday — just two days after it reopened– after 6 people from a Rock Creek Elementary School group tested positive for COVID-19.
The camp had been closed since the beginning of the pandemic, and reopened on January 4 under what the Rocklin Unified School District says were “stringent health and safety protocols”.READ MORE: Independent Study Program Overwhelmed As Sacramento City Unified Extends Vaccine Mandate Deadline
Prior to arriving at camp Tuesday, the group of 80 students and chaperones were required to complete a screening and provide a negative COVID test, the District said in a statement. Upon arrival, the group was required to do another symptom check.
In an agreement between the Sacramento County Office of Education and area school districts, like Rocklin Unified School District, groups must be tested for COVID-19 three days before arrival to Sly Park. A testing opportunity was offered through RUSD on Sunday Jan. 2nd, according to a district spokesperson, and anyone that was unable to make it had to test on their own time.
“We are confident Rocklin Unified fully complied with the MOU,” said Tim Herrera, the Director of Communications for SCOE.
Once the group arrived to the camp, the 6 positive COVID cases were discovered through the symptom-check on site.
Based on new recommendations from Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasiyre and El Dorado County Health Officer Dr. Nancy Williams, SCOE the camp was once again shut down, the District says.
The RUSD spokesperson shared a statement with CBS13 about the 6 positive cases:
“In accordance with the Sacramento County Office of Education’s Memorandum of Understanding, the Rocklin Unified School District provided testing for students/chaperones on Sunday, January 2, 2022, within the 72-hour timespan requirement.
On Tuesday morning, January 4, students and adult chaperones that had proof of a negative test result were allowed to travel to Sly Park. Those who were unable to attend the testing clinic were required to show proof of a negative test result prior to boarding the bus. Individuals with positive COVID test results were not allowed to board the bus to Sly Park.”
The group of Rock Creek 6th graders did not attend school in-person on Friday. In an email, obtained by CBS13, sent to parents by Bevin Graham, the Principal at Rock Creek Elementary, parents were advised to test their students on Sunday before they went back to school Monday.READ MORE: Sacramento Man Indicted, Accused Of Plotting To Kill Or Kidnap President Biden, VP Harris
Some parents who spoke to CBS13, with students who attended the Sly Park trip, are concerned about the next few days and their child’s health.
One mother, who asked CBS13 not to share her name fearful of backlash from the greater school community, said she cried when she had to test her daughter at home because she is a frontline worker who knows the worst-case scenarios.
“I don’t want to ever feel helpless like I have in the last 24 hours, watching a ticking time bomb waiting to see is my daughter going to be sick?”
Another parent, who was notified his 6th grade son was exposed to one of the positive cases at the camp, wished he received more than an email Thursday from RUSD.
“The whole situation is crazy. Last night his mom and I talked and said, what are we supposed to do? We left our kid in their hands and they didn’t handle it,” said Lawrence Alarcon, a Rock Creek Elementary parent.
Sly Park Environmental Education Center is run through the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) and reopened with health and safety protocols in place as decided on with El Dorado and Sacramento County Public Health departments.
It was open to only 40% capacity and the maximum number of guests was 80. A SCOE spokesperson told CBS13 that the protocols in place worked as planned once the positive cases were discovered.MORE NEWS: Foresthill Bridge Reopened After Hazmat Incident, Deputy Hospitalized
Herrera added, in a statement to CBS13:
“We are glad that the kids are safe at home and that the safety protocols we had in place worked. As far as future trips to Sly Park, we will consult with the public health officers from Sacramento County and El Dorado County to develop any plans for a restart.”