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Infections climb as virus-related death, possible exposure site reported

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

ALPENA — Another resident of Alpena County has died after being infected with COVID-19, and the number of positive coronavirus tests in the area is climbing quickly, District Health Department No. 4 announced Tuesday.

A 15th Alpena County resident has died after testing positive for the coronavirus, the first coronavirus-linked death of an Alpena County resident since Aug. 17.

The most recent virus-related death in the region was on Oct. 27, in Alcona County.

Exposure to the virus was possible at the Presque Isle Township Hall from 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Nov. 3, health officials warned Tuesday.

Anyone present at those times should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and, if symptoms develop, should quarantine and contact a doctor.

It was also announced on Tuesday that Kindergarten, first grade, and fourth grade classrooms at Lincoln Elementary School will transition to remote learning starting immediately, due to the school being notified of a school-associated confirmed case of COVID-19 on Monday.

Students in second, third and fifth grade classrooms may return to school Wednesday.

Cleaning and disinfecting of exposed locations at the school were being completed Tuesday night, but affected individuals are required to quarantine for 14 days, and school officials indicated in an email that they do not anticipate a return to in-person learning for kindergarten, first and fourth grade before that time.

Alpena Public Schools, also announced on Tuesday that Thunder Bay Junior High School will remain open after officials learned about one school-associated probable case in a student or staff member on Monday.

A probable case is defined as someone who was exposed to a confirmed positive COVID-19 case in the community and is now symptomatic. School officials have been advised that anyone who came into close contact with this individual within 48 hours of symptom onset may be required to quarantine.

Positive test results continue to rise in all Northeast Michigan counties, totaling 37 new cases reported Tuesday — the highest one-day total since the onset of the pandemic.

With an additional 15 confirmed infections reported in Alpena County residents, the new total for residents who tested positive for the coronavirus in the county now stands at 216.

In Presque Isle County, 109 residents have tested positive — 14 of those newly reported Tuesday — of whom one has died.

Montmorency County logged six new confirmed infections among residents Tuesday, pushing its total to 53, while District Health No. 2 reported a pair of new infections among Alcona County residents, for a total of 61 residents of that county testing positive, including three virus-related deaths.

On Tuesday, the state reported 6,473 new confirmed infections in the state, and 84 new deaths.

So far, 223,277 people in Michigan have tested positive for the disease, and 7,724 have died after being infected.

Local health officials remind the community that virus spread is dramatically increasing, and residents should assume exposure to the virus is possible any time they are leaving home.

Mask-wearing, physical distancing, and good hygiene practices are strongly recommended.

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