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COVID-19: NY Summer Camps Could Be Closed Due To Mysterious Inflammatory Syndrome In Children

There has been a rise in the number of children contracting an inflammatory illness tied to COVID-19. Photo Credit: ny.gov
There has been a rise in the number of children contracting an inflammatory illness tied to COVID-19. Photo Credit: ny.gov

The new rash of inflammatory illnesses in children that may be related to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) could cause summer camps to be closed this year and have an impact on the decision regarding fall school openings in New York.

During his daily COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, May 21 in midtown Manhattan, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the state is currently considering whether camps will be permitted as they continue monitoring cases of pediatric multi-symptom inflammatory syndrome (PMIS).

Cuomo said that “Let's put it this way, until we have this answer on this pediatric syndrome, as a parent, until I know how widespread this is, I would not send my children to day camp,” adding that “I wouldn’t send my children to day camp, I also wouldn’t ask anybody else to send their children to day camp. It’s that simple.”

According to Cuomo, the state is now investigating 157 cases of PMIS, while the number of states and countries evaluating potential cases of the inflammatory illness has doubled in the past week.

Currently, cases of the illness have been reported in 25 states and 13 countries, and it appears to be spreading.

“I said we were at the tip of the iceberg 10 days ago, and I was clearly right, because, in one week, we doubled the number of countries and states investigating. That’s what I mean by the tip of the iceberg,” Cuomo said. “We’re in the discovery phase of this. We have a universe of children who had this inflammatory syndrome, so now we have to go back and look at those cases’ possible COVID relationship.”

Cuomo said that as they continue investigating and learning about the illness, it could have an impact on whether schools open or not in September.

“We were told early on that children were not affected by COVID, but now we’re starting to see that children who test positive for COVID or COVID antibodies are developing these inflammatory symptoms,” he said. “So now after one week … two weeks … three weeks … these children start experiencing these new symptoms.

“In some ways this inflammatory syndrome is more frightening than the COVID respiratory illness, because of the way it inflames the heart,” Cuomo continued. “We don’t know how widespread it is, but the more we look, the more we find it, and we’ve seen that in one week we’ve doubled the number.”

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