COVID-19 Outbreak in Lake Zurich Rises to 69 Cases

Surrounding areas impacted, according to Lake County Health Department

LAKE ZURICH, Ill. – The recent COVID-19 outbreak in Lake Zurich has increased to 69 associated cases, according to Hannah Goering, a spokesperson for the Lake County Health Department.

“We are tracing contacts now from the third week of June to the July Fourth weekend, and case investigators are finding that there were a lot of social gatherings involving students,” she said.

According to Goering, the 69 cases include students from neighboring suburbs who also attended the gatherings and have tested positive, some without symptoms. The incubation time for the virus is two to fourteen days.

What caused the outbreak?

Lake Zurich residents in the past few weeks have been quick to place blame on each other for the surge in positive cases. In public Facebook chat rooms and via two anonymous calls placed to the Local Newsreader, residents blamed each other for hosting and attending prom, graduation, retirement and slumber parties as well as vacationing out of state, and attending protests on June 4 and June 20. Though the June 4 protest is not within the timeframe being examined by the Health Department, the June 20 protest–a Caravan of cars planned by a pediatric nurse practitioner and required masks for safety–is within the window.

The Lake Zurich outbreak was announced after 36 teenagers tested positive for COVID-19 following an athletic camp screening. District 95 immediately canceled all athletic camps until further notice.

In publicly posted photographs of several social gatherings of varying sizes, including protests, no social distancing is being observed and few masks are being worn, despite state guidelines.

As for pinpointing a particular gathering, according to Goering, it’s not a matter of placing individual blame on party-goers, protesters, or a single event.

“It’s not helpful to point fingers at someone who is ill,” warned Goering, “The real enemy is this virus, and it’s going to be around for a long time. We need a full community effort now.”

It is not helpful to point fingers at someone who is ill.”

Hannah Goering, Lake county health Department

Minimize the spread

The community effort, according to Goering, is a multi-faceted approach to prevent further spread of the virus: wear a mask, distance yourself socially, wash your hands, and limit your risk by staying home.

To help minimize spread, the Illinois department of Public Health offered free COVID-19 screenings for the past two weeks at Lake Zurich High School.

“Keep in mind the misperceptions about spread. You can get the virus from close contact with one person, or from smaller gatherings. Regarding Lake Zurich, there were lots of groups of six to ten friends. That risk adds up,” Goering said.

“If you’re attending gatherings of more than six people, you are at risk. ” Goering warned, “If you think of all your daily interactions, you have potential to spread this virus to a lot of people. Pace yourself. Please be cautious.”

Coming Tomorrow: VIRUS MISCONCEPTIONS

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ARTICLE CORRECTION

One word in a paragraph above was changed to provide clarity. A paragraph originally stated the following: “The Lake Zurich outbreak was announced after 36 teenagers tested positive for COVID-19 during an athletic camp screening. District 95 immediately canceled all athletic camps until further notice.

It was changed to the following:

The Lake Zurich outbreak was announced after 36 teenagers tested positive for COVID-19 following an athletic camp screening. District 95 immediately canceled all athletic camps until further notice.

Athletes were not tested for COVID-19 at the athletic camps. Athletes received tests following the camp and 36 students were found to be positive with COVID-19 as a result of testing that took place subsequently. The Local Newsreader regrets the choice of words that may have inadvertently led any readers to believe that 36 athletes reported to the camp, were tested, and received positive COVID-19 test results during the athletic camp.

By Margo Pelak

Margo Pelak is founder and managing editor of the Local Newsreader, which covers hyper-local news in Hawthorn Woods, Lake Zurich and Mundelein. She resides in Hawthorn Woods with her husband Dennis and two wild beasts named Ladybug and Juney P.

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