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YMCA’S Camp Seymour reopens after Norovirus outbreak

GIG HARBOR — Diane Jackson is back at work at camp Seymour Sunday.

She was one of the 14 staff members infected with the virus.

“For me it lasted about 12 hours of really feeling nauseous and having some diarrhea, vomited a couple of times and then the next day I was feeling really tired and dehydrated,” Camp Seymour counselor Diane Jackson said.

The outbreak appears to have started July 31st.

“Anytime we have any campers sick it’s difficult for us,” Camp Seymour Executive Director Liz Ortenburger said.

Having a few campers sick is one thing, Ortenburger, says, having a Norovirus outbreak is quite another and it’s never happened here before.

“When we had this large a number it was definitely a new situation for us. Fortunately we work with a local doctor and as I said the Health Department,” Ortenburger said.

The Pierce County Health Department took a look around the camp and decided it needed to be shut down and cleanup up before campers could return.

Two companies were brought in to sanitize the camp, while everyone else focused on getting well.

CampSeymour“Making sure staff stayed off of camp the entire time when they were healing and that campers that went home didn’t come back for another session when they were still contagious was important,” Ortenburger said.

Symptoms include stomach pain and vomiting, diarrhea, chills, body aches and fatigue.

With the camp now sanitized and everyone healthy again the camp reopened and more than 160 campers check in.

New protocols are in place to make sure there is no new Norovirus outbreak at amp Seymour.

“During check-in we added a few extra questions asking kids if they had had a stomach bug or if they were feeling okay when they checked in, just to make sure everyone coming to camp is healthy and ready to go,” Ortenburger said.

For those kids who missed camp, the YMCA plans to reimburse their parents or the kids can attend camp free of charge next week.

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