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Infections still climbing around Alpena

2nd ACC student infected, potential exposure sites named

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

ALPENA — Northeast Michigan continues to see an increase in COVID-19 infections as 21 more Northeast Michiganders were reported infected over the weekend, including an Alpena Community College student, and health officials warned visitors to two local restaurants may have been exposed.

Local public health officials said today that 10 Alpena County residents, seven Presque Isle County residents, two Montmorency County residents, and two Alcona County residents were confirmed infected since Friday.

Meanwhile, a second Alpena Community College student has tested positive for COVID-19, college officials said in a press release today. That student was linked to another student who had tested positive Oct. 26 and had been self-isolating at an off-campus apartment, the college said.

Public health officials today also warned recent visitors to a euchre tournament at the Sand Bar and Grill and to Mango’s Tequila Bar should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 infection.

An infected person was at the euchre tournament from 3 to 6 p.m. Oct. 22 and at Mango’s from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24, District Health Department No. 4 said in the news release.

That does not mean the restaurants did anything wrong or have to close down. It only means an infected person visited those places at those times, and others who were there should monitor for symptoms such as fever or chills, shortness of breath, or muscle aches.

People showing those symptoms should consider getting a test for coronavirus infection.

Check out the interactive chart below showing the spread of the coronavirus across Northeast Michigan. Story continues below chart.

Hospitalization rates remain low but are climbing, with 12 more people reported hospitalized with confirmed or suspected coronavirus infection over the weekend in the state-designated, 18-county health care region that includes Alpena, Presque Isle, and Montmorency counties. As of today, 51 people were hospitalized across those 18 counties, compared to 39 on Friday.

Alpena Public Schools officials said during a board meeting today they are prepared to send all students home to learn online or through correspondence courses, but have not yet done so.

Meanwhile, the McLaren Northern Michigan Rogers City clinic confirmed it was closed last Thursday because of a COVID-19-related exposure. However, the clinic reopened Friday after a deep clean of the building, according to a post on the McLaren Northern Michigan Facebook page.

“All staff members have been tested and those who need to quarantine will do so according to (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines,” the post said. “We ask that the community continue to be vigilant in wearing a mask in public, socially distance whenever possible, wash your hands often, and avoid touching your face.”

McLaren spokeswoman Catherine Dewey said patients are being seen virtually as well as in the office when needed.

In addition to the two confirmed infected ACC students, two roommates of one of the infected students, who are also ACC students, are considered close contacts and have been advised to self-isolate until Nov. 17.

College officials have notified the students and instructors in the courses attended by the two roommates. Those students have been encouraged to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, practice social distancing, and wear a mask in all public places.

ACC’s Alpena and Oscoda campuses remain open and classes continue to operate on their regular schedules.

Since the pandemic hit Michigan in mid-March, 167 Alpena County residents, 78 Presque Isle County residents, 34 Montmorency County residents, and 49 Alcona County residents have been infected, for a total of 328 infected Northeast Michiganders. Public health officials say 189 of those people have recovered and 18 have died.

Statewide since Friday, 6,709 Michiganders have been infected and 17 have died, state health officials say. Since March, the state has logged 184,889 confirmed infections and 7,357 deaths.

News staff writers Steve Schulwitz and Crystal Nelson and News Managing Editor Justin A. Hinkley contributed to this report.

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