COLUMBUS, Ohio — At least 30 people contracted COVID-19, and more infections are feared, following a Baptist retreat attended by 800 people in Miamisburg, Ohio, local health officials announced Monday.

What You Need To Know

  • A COVID-19 outbreak was reported Monday associated with a Baptist retreat

  • Officials said anyone who attended should contact the health department

  • The camp has not been fully cooperative with health officials as far as contract tracing

​Camp Chautauqua became the site of the outbreak during a June 27 to July 3 retreat, according to Public Health–Dayton & Montgomery County.

The confirmed infections are among residents of Ohio and Kentucky, but the retreat also included attendees from churches in Illinois and Indiana.

Camp Chautauqua is located in Miamisburg, Ohio. (Spectrum News, Katie Kapusta)


The health department said contact tracing tasks are complex due to the number of attendees across states, and efforts to control the outbreak were setback because event organizers have not been fully cooperative.

“Since camp and event organizers failed to respond to Public Health for several days after the initial cases were recognized, and have not provided contact information for attendees, accordingly, Public Health is asking anyone who may have attended the event to contact Public Health or their local health department,” officials said in a statement.

In a June 30 Facebook post, Camp Chautauqua shared a picture of students attending a performance, and, according to the post, the group that was there during the week in question was with Engage Ministries.


We are having a blast with Engage Ministries this week! God is moving in these students lives in BIG ways! Please continue to pray for God to move in the hearts of these students this week!

Posted by Camp Chautauqua on Wednesday, June 30, 2021


According to Engage Ministries’ website, the group is a nonprofit that organizes religious experiences for students and student ministries.

The camp said Monday evening that one person tested positive for COVID-19 on July 1, prompting the implementation of mitigation protocols including testing of the staff, according to a statement from Chautauqua Camp and Conference Center President Jason Harmeyer​. 

In the statement, Harmeyer said Chautauqua has had no additional positive cases at the camp since the retreat ended. He said that they were working with multiple health departments.


To whom it may concern, The safety and security of our guests is our top concern. We have taken extra precautions in...

Posted by Camp Chautauqua on Monday, July 12, 2021


The camp’s website states it offers recreational activities, including zip lining, and has plenty of air-conditioned dorms to sleep hundreds.

In the health department’s statement, officials said this event is a reminder of the risks of COVID-19.

Officials said anyone who attended should contact the health department. (Spectrum News, Katie Kapusta)


“Unvaccinated people, including children under 12 years of age, are up to 100 times more likely to get sick after exposure to COVID-19 compared to fully vaccinated individuals,” said Dr. Michael Dohn, Medical Director, Public Health–Dayton & Montgomery County.

Anyone who attended the event “may have been exposed to COVID-19 and could be infected, or infecting others,” the statement said. Everyone who attended is asked to call the health department at 937-225-4508 to discuss risk-level.