After three dozen students tested positive for coronavirus in suburban Lake Zurich, forcing the cancellation of a sports camp at the local high school, more information is coming out about how the outbreak may have started.
On Tuesday evening, the Lake County Health Department announced that 36 students from Lake Zurich High School had tested positive for coronavirus. As some of those students looked to attend a sports camp earlier this month, many were diagnosed with COVID-19 symptoms and were told to leave.
After the positive tests were announced, the summer sports camps were suspended, and mobile testing units were brought in to determine the extent of the outbreak.
Despite the fact that many students were flagged as having symptoms at the camp, officials don’t believe that the camp itself was the culprit being the spread of the virus.
“There were several social gatherings leading up to the start of these camps where students were likely exposed, and we were just coming out of that Fourth of July weekend,” LCHD expert Hannah Goering said. “It’s kind of a recipe for a lot of people to potentially be infected.”
As data shows more young people in Lake County, and across the state, are becoming infected with the virus, one student-athlete says he is concerned about his classmates’ well-being.
“I just think people should be a little smarter, because they know just how easy it is that they can catch it,” Matt Mulka said. “Like all these people, all the young guys, they’re just going out and partying. It’s a great place to catch it.”
The health department is urging students who attended the sports camps to self-quarantine for 14 days beyond their last possible exposure.
At the first mobile testing drive at the school after the incident, more than 350 people showed up to receive a free coronavirus test.
The Lake County Health Department says it anticipates that more positive tests will be reported from that testing drive, and says that another one is set for later this month.
Even with the testing, which officials hope will show the spread of the virus and to potentially stop it from infecting others, health department officials are urging individuals to take precautions to prevent contracting, or spreading, the virus.
“To young people, we would say you may not be at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, but it’s very likely that someone in your family, someone you care about, one of your friends or family members could get very ill, be hospitalized or even die from this virus,” Goering said.
Lake Zurich’s graduation ceremonies will also be moved from an in-person format to a drive-thru format after the positive tests, according to school officials.