Lake Zurich COVID-19 outbreak traced to July 4th parties, health officials say

LAKE ZURICH, Ill. (WLS) -- Seventy-three people are now part of a COVID-19 outbreak in Lake Zurich which has been traced back to several Fourth of July gatherings, health officials said.

The outbreak was first detected in a group of Lake Zurich High School students earlier in July. Lake County, Illinois, health officials said contact tracing has now led them to believe the infections stem from multiple July 4 parties, and was not the result of a super spreader event.

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"We have identified multiple smaller gatherings where COVID-19 infections occurred," said Hannah Goering, Lake County Health Department.

The outbreak was detected on the first day of an athletic camp scheduled to take place to Lake Zurich High School, when several students tested positive during an initial health screening. The camp was cancelled, and a mobile testing unit was sent to the high school for several days. Free testing was offered to those in the area.

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"At least half of the cases are Lake Zurich High School students, but there are also parents and family members and people from other community members tied to this outbreak," Goering said.

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County officials said during this process they've had some trouble with contact tracing, as many people have either ignored messages, delayed responding, or simply didn't pick up the phone. They said they really need anyone who is contacted by a tracer because of possible exposure to COVID-19 to take the call seriously and get themselves screenedas soon as possible.

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