Community members in Keller are hoping for more transparency and answers about how many kids tested COVID positive following Keystone Church’s summer camp.
After the camp, which was held July 6 through July 10, several parents reported on social media their kids had tested positive for COVID-19.
The camp brought together more than 400 people and roughly 300 kids, according to Latham Springs Retreat Center in Hill County, who hosted the group.
“All I’m hearing is from what my neighbors are saying on social media,” Krissy Askins said. "How Keystone is making me feel is that they are trying to protect their brand and that they don’t have much care or concern for our health or well being."
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Askins lives a little more than a mile from the church and says city, county and church leadership need to inform the community about how many kids tested positive.
“We are all sharing facilities, we are all sharing grocery stores, restaurants, it’s fair to want to know if there is a large outbreak going basically in your backyard,” Askins said. "I just want everyone to be honest and tell the truth."
So far, Tarrant County has only said it knows of positive cases linked to the church camp, but the county would not give a specific number.
When asked Tuesday, Tarrant County’s health director said the Texas Department of State Health Services is leading the investigation, because the camp took place in Hill County and it involves multiple counties in Texas.
The church deleted photos from its Facebook page on Sunday that showed dozens of kids standing shoulder to shoulder and not social distancing.
The Tarrant County judge was disturbed by the lack of precaution.
“I was very disappointed in the photos that showed little if any wearing of masks,” Judge Glen Whitley said. “If we’re going to beat this thing, we’ve got to be doing the social distancing, we have to be as concerned about other people's rights as we are about our own.”
Since the camp, the church only made one public statement about the incident. The statement came out after media reached out over the weekend.
“Keystone Church takes seriously the physical, spiritual and emotional health of our community and those that call Keystone Church their home. Keystone Church, along with other churches and local non-profit camp organizations, held summer camp,” the statement said. “If any camper was possibly exposed, the parents or guardians of the exposed camper were immediately notified under the guidelines of The Texas State Health Department and the CDC. Keystone Church has always and will continue to pray for, invest in and serve our community.”
Askins thinks the church has a responsibility to do more than to just tell parents.
“The leadership of the church has not been transparent with all of us,”Askins said. “I think we all just need to be on the same team. We all want to fix it, we all want to get back to normal, I think we’re just disagreeing on how to do that."
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