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An epidemic of COVID-19 related to adult volleyball games in Lake County

Lake County health authorities are investigating more than a dozen cases of COVID-19 involving adult volleyball leagues organized by the Gages Lake bar and grill, where perhaps 200 players and spectators have been exposed to the virus.

Health officials say 14 people who played or watched volleyball at Jesse Oaks Food & Drink this month tested positive for coronavirus. Several of these people have also played volleyball in other bars / restaurants, which could contribute to the further spread of the virus, authorities said.

“We are currently working hard to talk to infected people and notify close contacts that have been established,”

; said Dr. Sana Ahmed, a medical epidemiologist with Lake County Health Department. “However, nearly 200 volleyball players and spectators may have been exposed. This could potentially be a major outbreak, and we need public help to limit the spread of the virus.”

Health officials are asking anyone who played volleyball at Jesse Oaks this month or visited and did not wear a mask to be quarantined at home for 14 days after their last visit.

They also suggest that these people receive a molecular test for COVID-19 within at least five days of their last visit or earlier if symptoms develop, and call the Infectious Diseases Program at (847) 377-8130 if the health department has no longer contacted them.

While in quarantine, one must stay at home, limit contact with others in one’s home, avoid having visitors, and wear a face covering if one has to leave to seek medical attention.

A negative test result does not shorten the quarantine period, as it can take up to 14 days to be detected, officials said.

As a result of the outbreak, Jesse Oaks stopped all volleyball activities for 14 days and can resume only in accordance with state guidelines. These guidelines only allow clashes between members of the same team, but not league play between different teams, officials said.

“Under the current phase of the national plan, volleyball is considered a medium-risk sport and no competitive matches between teams are allowed,” said Larry Mackie, director of environmental health at the health department. “Failure to comply with these guidelines puts public health at risk, prolongs the pandemic and has the potential to impose additional constraints on local businesses that work so hard to protect their employees and customers.”

Mackie said there were “some disagreements” over whether the games at Jesse Oaks violated state guidelines, but the health department said they were league games and therefore banned.

According to him, however, no enforcement action has been taken against the establishment.

“They voluntarily agreed to stop the games for 14 days and we are working with them to follow the instructions,” Mackie said.

According to the health department, 16,960 Lake County residents had tested positive for COVID-19 since Monday, with 464 deaths.

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