Coronavirus Illinois: Despite Lake Zurich HS COVID-19 outbreak, some parents want school to reopen in fall

Mobile COVID-19 testing expected to continue this weekend

Wednesday, July 15, 2020
36 students in Lake Zurich HS sports camps test positive for COVID-19
The cases have been tied to social events before the camps even started, and the positive test results among young people are part of an overall trend Lake County, Illinois.

LAKE ZURICH, Ill. (WLS) -- Thirty-six cases of COVID-19 have been identified in a group of Lake Zurich High School Students who were part of athletic camps last week, but some parents still want to see in-person classes and sports again this fall.

The cases have been tied to social events before the camps even started, and the positive test results among young people are part of an overall trend Lake County, Illinois, health officials have seen in the last month.

RELATED: Lake County warns of rising COVID-19 cases in young people

Lake County health officials are warning of a rise in cases in people under 30, as Illinois reported 980 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the biggest single-day increase since June

The summer sports camps are closed down again. The students who were at the camp are now in self-quarantine.

"I've seen my kid one time in the last week," said Butch Holtz, father of one of the infected students. "He's set up in the basement, it's like his own little apartment. We FaceTime at dinner."

Lake County health officials said the vast majority of the students who tested positive are exhibiting mild symptoms or none at all. Nevertheless, the state set up a mobile testing site at the school last weekend and has another planned for Sunday.

"I'm also deeply troubled by outbreaks that we're seeing all around the state tied to activities like youth sports like in Lake Zurich where dozens of students and parents and tested positive," said Governor JB Pritzker at his news conference on the status of COVID-19 in Illinois Wednesday.

Lake County health officials remain concerned about COVID-19 transmission in younger people.

"Our lives are interconnected these days so even if you're not at high risk it's likely someone you know is," said Hannah Goering the Lake Co. Health Spokesperson.

RELATED: Illinois COVID-19 infections among 18-29 age group growing quickly

Two of Tuesday's COVID-19 deaths in Cook County were men in their 20s, and the same age group is driving the surging number of coronavirus cases across the nation.

State health officials said even though their symptoms tend to be less serious, they are seeing the biggest increases in positive cases among younger people.

"We're following this very closely, but young people, and parents of young people, please be aware. This virus is now being spread by youth by younger people," said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health.

That concerns Holtz, who said he's hoping his son will be able to go to school and play football in the fall.

"I think school needs to be in-person and sports need to happen," he said.

Health officials are now waiting on the results of last weekend's mobile COVID-19 testing site at Lake Zurich High School, where more than 350 people were tested.

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