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Dozens more infections reported, one at Pied Piper, Rogers City schools close

Courtesy Image An illustration of the coronavirus provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

ALPENA — As of today, 265 Northeast Michiganders were actively infected with the coronavirus, meaning they’d been confirmed infected but hadn’t yet recovered or died — two-and-a-half times the highest count ever reported in the earliest weeks of the pandemic in the spring.

Since Tuesday, when local health department data was last updated, 20 more Alpena County residents, nine more Presque Isle County residents, eight more Montmorency County residents, and five more Alcona County residents were confirmed infected. One Alpena County resident was reported as recovered.

Health officials have reported 119 infections in the past week — a total that took five months to reach after cases began to appear in Northeast Michigan in April.

Meanwhile, a student or employee at Pied Piper School, who was identified as a probable COVID-19 case on Monday, has now been confirmed infected, the Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District said today. Schools do not identify infected people.

AMA-ESD officials are confident no one was exposed to the individual. The school remains open.

Rogers City Area Schools will close Friday after someone connected with the school was infected. The district was closed so officials could conduct contact tracing, according to an announcement from the school.

And Alpena Public Schools said a second-grade and a third-grade class at Lincoln Elementary School would return to school Friday after being kept home today because of a possible infection associated with the school. Officials said District Health Department No. 4 confirmed a COVID-19 infection, but it was not associated with the school.

Hospitalization rates continue to climb, as well, with 61 people hospitalized with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection across the state-designated, 18-county health care region that includes Alpena, Presque Isle, and Montmorency counties, according to state data. Sixty-one of those people were in intensive care.

The day before Halloween, 39 people were in the hospital across those 18 counties. Back in September, just two people were hospitalized.

Since the pandemic began in mid-March, 481 Northeast Michiganders have been confirmed infected, 197 have recovered, and 19 have died.

Statewide, 236,225 people have tested positive since the pandemic began — an increase of more than 44,000 in the past week. Of those, 128,981 have recovered as of Friday and 7,811 have died.

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