'Rather be safe than sorry' Lake Zurich High School students line up for COVID-19 tests

  • In the wake of 36 students testing positive for COVID-19 this month, Lake Zurich High School hosted another mobile testing event Sunday in the school's parking lot. It was the second c

      In the wake of 36 students testing positive for COVID-19 this month, Lake Zurich High School hosted another mobile testing event Sunday in the school's parking lot. It was the second c Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Phlebotomists from the company HR Support conduct COVID-19 tests Sunday morning at Lake Zurich High School. It was the second consecutive Sunday the school has hosted a testing event since it abruptly suspended its summer sports camps amid multiple positive tests.

      Phlebotomists from the company HR Support conduct COVID-19 tests Sunday morning at Lake Zurich High School. It was the second consecutive Sunday the school has hosted a testing event since it abruptly suspended its summer sports camps amid multiple positive tests. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Lake Zurich High School hosted a COVID-19 testing event Sunday. Testing was first available to students and staff for two hours, following by testing of the general public.

      Lake Zurich High School hosted a COVID-19 testing event Sunday. Testing was first available to students and staff for two hours, following by testing of the general public. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
Updated 7/19/2020 6:49 PM

John Woodruff and his son Brian sat in their car early Sunday morning along a driveway leading to Lake Zurich High School.

They were far from alone. A long line of cars delivered teens to a mobile COVID-19 testing site set up for a second consecutive Sunday at the high school, after 36 students tested positive for the coronavirus this month.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

For Brian Woodruff, there was a particular urgency to the test. Brian, a baseball player, was among the students attending a Lake Zurich Unit School District 95 sports camp that was abruptly suspended earlier this months after it was learned that multiple participants had become infected.

John Woodruff said he became concerned while watching the end of the baseball practice on July 6, when players gathered as a group in a big circle.

"What concerned me is that there was no social distancing, no masks. It was pretty frustrating to see," he said.

Sitting in the passenger seat Sunday morning, Brian admitted he was a little worried about what the test would show.

Similar thoughts were echoed by classmates and recent graduates who waited in line for the drive-through testing.

Mitch Galuppo, a senior whose friends were at the school's football camp this month, said he came for a test because "I would rather be safe than sorry."

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Diana Osipova, a recent Lake Zurich High graduate, said the concerns about the camps were part of the reason she was there as well.

"I also work in the food industry," she added.

According to Lake County health officials, multiple students showed signs of infection when the high school opened its summer athletic camps July 6 and were turned away. Other students began experiencing symptoms during the day and were sent home, officials said. School leaders learned of the positive tests that evening and suspended the camps.

Health officials last week said contact tracing and case investigation identified multiple social gatherings prior to the camps as probable sources for the transmissions.

Kylee Baxa, a senior at the high school, decided to get a test because she recently traveled to Florida, but said, "I don't think I have it."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

George Tammo, site manager for the mobile testing facility, said about 360 received tests last week, and more were expected Sunday. Results of Sunday's tests can be expected in about five days, he said.

"Everybody got a little worried that some of the kids came back positive, so they want to get retested," Tammo added.

For senior Ashley Geisler, the waiting is the hard part. A basketball player, she said she was among the students attending camp earlier this month, but added that players kept to safety protocols.

"You want to know right away, so that you make sure you don't spread it to anybody else." she said.

Additional mobile testing events are scheduled at the high school from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., while supplies last, Monday and Tuesday. Testing then shifts to Mundelein High School, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, and Thursday, and Round Lake High School, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 26.

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