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Virus roars back: We just tied for worst week of pandemic

Courtesy Photo Boxes of personal protective equipment are seen stacked at in Rogers City in this photo provided by the MediLodge Group. The equipment is to be delivered to schools, clinics, and other health care organizations in northern Michigan.

ALPENA — As the number of Northeast Michiganders infected with COVID-19 continued to climb today, Northeast Michigan ended a week tied for the worst since the pandemic began.

Eleven newly infected Northeast Michiganders today brought the total number of cases diagnosed in the last seven days to 71, according to a News analysis of local public health data. That’s the same number of cases reported the week ending April 24, at the height of the first wave of the outbreak.

Just two weeks ago, weekly totals were in the single digits.

The 71 cases does not include another 43 Northeast Michiganders probably infected as of today, meaning they’d been exposed to an infected person but hadn’t been tested, themselves. Probably infected are 20 Alpena County residents, eight Alcona County residents, five Montmorency County residents, and 10 Presque Isle County residents.

This week also saw the first reported death since Aug. 20 of a Northeast Michigander who had been infected with the coronavirus. An Alcona County resident was reported dead on Tuesday.

More people are also landing in the hospital with COVID-19: 37 people as of today across the 18-county state-designated health care collaboration region that includes Alpena, Presque Isle, and Montmorency counties.

While that number is exceptionally low compared to the peak in the spring, just two people were in the hospital on Sept. 3.

As of today, 100 Northeast Michiganders were actively infected with COVID-19, meaning they’d been diagnosed and haven’t recovered or died, according to a News analysis of local public health data. That’s more than at any point since Memorial Day, when 106 active infections were known.

Since the virus hit Michigan in mid-March, 307 Northeast Michigan residents have been infected, including 157 Alpena County residents, 47 Alcona County residents, 32 Montmorency County residents, and 71 Presque Isle County residents.

Of those, 189 have recovered and 18 have died after being infected with the disease.

Meanwhile, two trucks delivered 30 pallets of personal protective equipment on Thursday to MediLodge of Rogers City, according to a MediLodge press release.

The nursing home has partnered with the Region 7 Health Department to house the PPE which will soon be dispersed to schools, clinics, and other health care organizations in northern Michigan.

Nick Marino, MediLodge regional director of maintenance, said the Rogers City location is part of what used to be an old community hospital, and that they’ve created many areas in the building that will allow for safe and secure storage space.

“We were happy to be able to offer this up to the Region and help support the community,” he said in a written statement.

The state reported 3,168 new cases and 11 new deaths today, bringing the statewide total since the pandemic began to 174,388 infected Michiganders, 7,309 of whom have died.

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