GAGES LAKE, IL – The Lake County Health Department is investigating an outbreak of coronavirus associated with adult volleyball games held at Gages Lake Pub in September. As of Tuesday, 14 people who played or watched volleyball at Jesse Oaks Food & Drink in Lake Gages in September have tested positive for COVID-19, and health officials say nearly 200 players and spectators may have been exposed to the virus.
Among those who have tested positive for the virus, many have played volleyball elsewhere in bars and restaurants, which could further spread the virus, according to a press release issued by the Lake County Health Department.
Sanaa Ahmed, a medical epidemiologist at the Ministry of Health, said: “We are currently working hard to speak with infected individuals and notify close contacts who have been identified.” “However, perhaps as many as 200 volleyball players and spectators have been detected. This could be a major outbreak, and we need the public’s help to contain the spread of this virus.”
At this time, Jesse Oaks has suspended all volleyball activities for a period of 14 days, and may only be resumed once per state guidelines after that time.
“Under the current phase of the state plan, volleyball is a medium-stakes sport,” said Larry Mackie, director of environmental health at the Department of Health. “No competitive matches between teams are allowed.” “Failure to adhere to these guidelines endangers the public’s health, prolongs the epidemic, and has the potential to impose additional restrictions on local companies that work hard to protect their employees and customers.”
“We continue to address any complaints from facilities that do not follow these guidelines and work closely with business owners to help them operate safely. But when companies do not cooperate, we have no choice but to pursue enforcement measures,” said Mackie.
The Daily Herald reported that there had been “some disagreement” over whether the games at Jesse Oaks were in contravention of state guidelines. Mackie told the newspaper that health officials believed the games were leagues, which were not permitted under state rules, but that no enforcement action had been taken against Jesse Ox.
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Meanwhile, the Health Department is urging anyone who played volleyball at Jesse Oaks in September to:
- Isolate at home for 14 days from your last match
- If you are still in quarantine, get a COVID-19 molecular test (PCR), at least five days after your last game. Get tested sooner if symptoms appear
- Call the Infectious Diseases Program at (847) 377-8130 if you have not already been contacted by the Ministry of Health
Health officials provided the following directions to those who visited Jesse Oaks in September and did not wear a mask or constantly maintain a distance of six feet from others:
- Quarantine at home for 14 days from your last visit
- If you are still in quarantine, get a COVID-19 molecular test (PCR), at least 5 days after your last visit. Get tested sooner if symptoms appear
During quarantine, a person should stay home, limit contact with others in his home, avoid receiving any visitors, and wear face coverings if he has to leave to seek medical care. A negative test result does not shorten the 14-day quarantine period because the virus can take up to 14 days to be detected by the COVID-19 test.
As of Tuesday, there were 17,014 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lake County and 466 deaths.