LAKE ZURICH, Ill. — Health officials brought a mobile coronavirus testing facility to suburban Lake Zurich Sunday after health officials said they’re seeing a spike in cases among young people across Lake County.
Hundreds waited in cars, sometimes for several hours, to get free COVID-19 testing at the facility in Lake Zurich High School Sunday. More than 400 underwent tests throughout the day.
Doctor Sana Ahmed, the Lake County Health Department’s medical epidemiologist, said accessible and free testing is a key component of containing the spread of the disease.
“It gives people in the community the opportunity to go get tested without a doctor’s referral,” Dr. Ahmed said.
The Lake County health department set up a mobile testing site with an assist from the Illinois Department of Health after multiple cases of COVID-19 were identified among students attending the first day of sports camp at Lake Zurich High School last week.
Incoming Lake Zurich High School freshman Dalton Leitz is on the school’s cross country team.
“There was some football players, I think, who tested positive for coronavirus, and due to that they started shutting down all the other camps, because they don’t want a huge case of coronavirus spreading,” Leitz said.
After waiting most of the morning, Leitz’s test took less than 30 seconds, and he said it “tickled a lot.” Test results will be provided by phone within one week.
Dr. Ahmed says testing and tracing will also help slow the spread in Lake County, where the number of positive cases among teenagers and young adults is growing.
“We are all in this together as community and we are all connected to each other, so whenever there is an exposure that occurs at an event or a gathering, it is very important that we all take it upon ourselves as a responsibility to our community to make sure that we get tested,” Dr. Ahmed said.
Both in their mid 70s, couple Bill and Nancy Caceres said they decided to get tested as a precaution.
“We have been around a few people in a few social situations, so we just want to make sure we’re keeping safe,” Nancy said.
Given he has diabetes, 56-year-old George Raess said decided to get tested because he is concerned about the virus
“I’m a type 2 diabetic, I figured I’d get the test, since I’m in Lake Zurich. I feel healthy but you never know,” Raess said.
The mobile testing facility will be back outside Lake Zurich High School and open to the public next Sunday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.