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Second wave feared, U.P. virus cases increasing

ESCANABA — Michigan’s chief health officer warned the state could be beginning a second wave of the coronavirus as cases rise along with the number of people in hospitals.

Michigan had 89 new cases per 1 million people per day, up from 81.6 cases last week, the health department said.

About 700 people with COVID-19 were in hospitals, up about 20% from last week. The rate of positive tests has ticked up to 3.6% from 3.4%. It was under 3% in June.

“It is very possible this is the beginning of a second wave,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan chief medical executive. “The virus has not changed. It is an opportunist. If people are not wearing masks, if people are gathering, if people are not washing their hands, it will spread.”

The Upper Peninsula is a hot spot. Nick Derusha, a health officer in four U.P. counties, said there’s “pandemic fatigue” among some residents.

Derusha said some people doubt the severity of the coronavirus.

“We need all Yoopers to wear your mask,” he said.

Brian Peters, chief executive of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, said hospitals aren’t in a capacity crisis “but we must stop this trend.”

The Upper Peninsula had 3,645 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 582 probable cases, 60 deaths and 1 probable death linked to the disease, as of Wednesday according to state officials.

Delta County had a total of 782 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 106 probable cases and 15 deaths and Recovered Cases (includes Probable Cases): 203; Menominee County had 492 confirmed cases, 79 probable cases and 3 deaths and Recovered Cases (includes Probable Cases): 263; Schoolcraft County had 45 confirmed cases and 4 probable cases.

Elsewhere in the peninsula, Alger County had 53 confirmed cases and 14 probable cases; Baraga County had 49 confirmed cases, 12 probable cases and 4 deaths; Chippewa County had 58 confirmed cases and 37 probable cases; Dickinson County had 349 confirmed cases, 6 probable case and 4 deaths; Gogebic County had 188 confirmed cases, 18 probable cases, 1 death and 1probable death; Houghton County had 675 confirmed cases, 146 probable cases and 5 deaths; Iron County had 297 confirmed cases, 13 probable cases and 16 deaths; Keweenaw County had 14 confirmed cases; Luce County had 23 confirmed cases and 9 probable case; Mackinac County had 90 confirmed cases and 28 probable cases; Marquette County had 475 confirmed cases, 104 probable cases and 12 deaths; and Ontonagon County had 55 confirmed cases and 4 probable cases.

The LMAS District Health Department is reporting a growing number of cases of COVID-19 in Alger County associated with an event on October 2, 2020 at the American Legion.

The Legion closed on October 5 due to two positive cases in persons who were in attendance. As of October 11, the number of cases associated with the October 2 event has grown to 24.Anyone who was at the Legion on October 2 and have symptoms should contact their healthcare provider. If you have been notified by LMAS as being a close contact of any person with COVID-19 and told to quarantine from 14 days of your last contact with them, follow those quarantine guidelines. If you have been notified as testing positive for COVID-19, please follow your isolation instructions. According to the American Legion – Munising Facebook page, they will remain closed until at least November 1.

“LMAS continues to ask each of you to work with us to keep our communities safe. We do not yet fully know everything about this novel (new) coronavirus, including the long-term negative health impacts such as lung, cardiovascular and neurological system damage, which are already being seen in some who have recovered from their initial bout with the virus.

If is really important that you answer the phone if the health department contacts you, and please follow the quarantine and isolation instructions provided to you.” health officials said. “Please wear a clean cloth face covering whenever you are in public, wash your hands, stay home if you don’t feel well, and please avoid large gatherings. We have to take care of each other, but to be successful, we must work together.”

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