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November infections double last six months combined

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

ALPENA — As 34 more Alpena-area residents were reported infected by the coronavirus, Alcona eighth-graders were asked to self-isolate and a school official today issued a reminder that school is still in session, even if it’s virtually, and students are expected to be there.

The numbers released today continue to show a roaring resurgence of the virus. As of today, 649 Northeast Michiganders had been infected with the coronavirus in November, more than twice as many as were infected in the first six months of the coronavirus.

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, testing numbers won’t be updated again until Monday.

Dan O’Connor, superintendent of Alcona Community Schools, today reported a confirmed infection within the district, although it was not clear if the infected person was a student, employee, or other person associated with the school district.

All K-12 Alcona students are currently learning virtually after previous infections linked to the district, but eighth-grade students are now asked to isolate through Dec. 2, O’Connor said in a memo to parents.

And, in a letter addressed to the community today, Scott Reynolds, superintendent of the Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District, reminded parents and others that children ages 6 to 18 are legally required to continue their education, even if they are not able to do so in person.

Students are expected to attend school, participate in and successfully complete coursework, and follow school rules while classes are virtual. Failure to do so could result in a court referral for truancy and incorrigibility, Reynolds said in the letter.

The interactive graphic below shows active infections in Northeast Michigan over time. Story continues below graphic.

“Even in difficult times, missing school is missing so much more than lessons,” Reynolds said in the letter. “We are fortunate in our community in that all involved with school participation/attendance — including the juvenile justice system and courts — are dedicated to families and the whole child. In that respect, referring a student for truancy is not a punishment, but a way of extending services needed to help a family provide an education to their child.”

The interactive chart below shows cumulative infections, recoveries and deaths in Northeast Michigan over time. Story continues below graphic.

Several school districts in Northeast Michigan are currently 100% online after people linked to the schools were infected. High schoolers and college students statewide are learning remotely after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration prohibited in-person classes amid a resurging coronavirus.

Public health officials today reported 34 newly infected Northeast Michiganders, including 13 Alpena County residents, four Presque Isle County residents, nine Montmorency County residents, and eight Alcona County residents.

That means that, as of today, 725 Northeast Michiganders were actively infected, meaning they’d been confirmed infected with COVID-19 but have not recovered or died.

As of Monday, 16 COVID-19 patients, two of whom were in intensive care, were hospitalized at MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena, according to state data. The Alpena hospital was 35% full. The patient census for individual hospitals was not updated Tuesday or today.

Flip through the interactive timeline below to see how the coronavirus spread through Northeast Michigan. Story continues below the timeline.

As of today, 133 people were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection across the state-designated, 18-county health care region that includes Alpena, Presque Isle, and Montmorency counties, according to state data.

Since the pandemic hit Michigan in mid-March, 956 Northeast Michiganders have been infected, according to local public health agencies. Of those, 208 have recovered and 23 have died.

The last death was reported on Monday.

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