July 4, 2020

Waukegan basketball tournament attendees asked to quarantine after someone tests positive for COVID-19

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WAUKEGAN, Ill. — The Lake County Health Department is urging everyone who attended a basketball tournament in Waukegan on June 14 to self-quarantine until Sunday after someone tested positive for COVID-19. 

From videos posted on social media it appears the “Above the Rim” tournament held at Belvidere Park was a fairly large event where attendees were not practicing social distancing.

The Lake County Health Department did not release the age or any other information on the person who tested positive, but is alerting the public about the potential for virus spread from the event.

“If you have an activity like basketball where you’re up close and personal with another person you’re breathing sweating that is definitely a risk for transmitting covid-19,” Hannah Goering, Lake County Health Department epidemiologist said.
Goering said when officials get notified of a case, they reach out to the person and interview them about their symptoms, where they’ve been, who they’ve been in contact with, and that’s how the contact tracing starts.

The event advertised 3-on-3 games for kids, and 5-on-5 for adults, but from videos posted on Facebook, it appears there were also dozens of spectators lining the court shoulder to shoulder, most not wearing masks.
The health department is now asking anyone who attended to self-quarantine until June 28 and get tested.
The event took place in Phase 3 of the Restoring Illinois plan where competitive sports were not allowed, but the event was advertised as a protest — the poster advertising the vent said “Protesting on the court through the sport” and asked people to pack the park and wear a mask.

“As public health professionals we support those speaking out against racism at this time however we have to keep in mind we are still in a pandemic and the virus that causes COVID-19 is still so spreading in our communities,” Goering said.

There is a walk-up and drive thru testing site on west Water Street in Waukegan.

The Lake County Health Department now has 70 contact tracers on staff and plans to hire an additional 150 in the coming months.