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Campground employee tests positive

Sun RV Resorts informed Mathews County Monday that an employee working at New Point RV Resort had tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

The employee has been quarantined from the property for the next 14 days, according to an email from company Divisional Vice President Jackie Maguire to the county administrator and supervisors. That person will not return to work until fever-free for at least 72 hours, she said, and sanitization protocols recommended by the CDC will be followed.

The resort has followed contact-tracing protocol, as well, said Maguire, and will additionally quarantine any employees that the infected person came into contact with for 14 days.

“Based on the timeline provided by the medical care professional who administered them, we do not believe they were in contact with any guests while symptomatic,” said Maguire in the email. “We will continue to monitor and take action as needed.”

Dr. Richard Williams, director of the Three Rivers Health District, said that specific guidelines are used for determining whether a person’s contact with another person puts that other person at high risk for contracting the illness. If two people are standing six feet from each other, they’re both wearing masks, and they’re only spending five minutes talking to each other, the risk is “very low, and a person is unlikely to get the disease from that exposure.” If, however, the people are six feet or less from each other and spend more than 10 minutes talking, the risk is very high, he said, even if they’re both wearing cloth masks.

Williams said that the health department realizes that a campground is a place where people are coming in and out and mixing with each other, “and that creates a risk.” He said that Three Rivers will have a presence at the campground in the coming weeks and will be monitoring behavior. If district representatives see behavior that puts people at risk, he said, they will offer guidance.

In addition, he said, Gov. Ralph Northam’s Executive Order 53 provides health directors the authority to take immediate action if businesses aren’t in compliance with the governor’s orders.

Steps taken at campgrounds

In a separate email sent to the county on April 28, District RV Resort Manager Michelle Maynora provided the county with a list of measures being taken at both Sun RV Resorts in the county—New Point and Gwynn’s Island—to remain compliant with the governor’s orders regarding campgrounds. She said that Mathews County Emergency Services Coordinator Willie Love had let her know that the county had given its blessing for the resorts to open on May 1 under those guidelines.

Maynora said that the first action the campgrounds took was to voluntarily delay their seasonal opening by 30 days at the request of Love. She said the campgrounds also abided by the governor’s order to restrict access to the campgrounds to just those who were staying for at least 14 days, pointing out that seasonal leaseholders fit that criterion.

In addition, Maynora said the campgrounds asked all campers to take all the supplies they would need for their stay with them and remain at their campground the entire time rather than shopping in town. The playgrounds and pools will remain closed until the governor’s order is lifted, she said, and guests are not allowed to bring outside visitors into the campgrounds.

On top of those measures, while at the resorts, all guests “will follow all CDC guidelines for social distancing,” said Maynora, with no group gatherings and frequent hand washing. Portable sinks were installed at various sites around the campgrounds to encourage this, she said.

Finally, the campgrounds are not accepting any new reservations for either short- or long-term stays until the governor lifts his order.

“I can assure you that our main concern is the safety of our guests, our staff, and the community of Mathews,” said Maynora. “All of our staff, including myself, are county residents and have every intention of operating in a way that is safe for everyone.”

In yet another email, Maguire said that the RV resorts had additionally installed signage throughout each campground reminding guests and employees of all CDC-recommended safety protocols, had closed the clubhouse in addition to the pools and playgrounds, and is allowing only six guests on any RV site.

A walk-up window is being used for guest check-in, she said, with the office closed to guest traffic. New Point Campground has a 30-day supply of face masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning materials, and employees are required to wear a new face mask each day, said Maguire. In addition, employees’ temperatures are taken each day when they report to work to make sure they are below 100.4 degrees.