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Virus warnings pile up as cases climb in Alpena area

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

ALPENA — Five new potential coronavirus exposure sites and 12 new COVID-19-infected Northeast Michigan residents were announced by local public health officials today.

An infected person or persons visited the following locations, District Health Department No. 4 said:

* Court Yard Ristorante in Alpena from 8 to 9 p.m. Oct. 28

* Family Dollar in Rogers City from 4 to 5 p.m. Oct. 30

* Save a Lot in Rogers City from 4 to 5 p.m. Oct. 30

* Up North 23 restaurant in Rogers City from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31

* Northern Lights Arena hockey practice from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday

Those warnings do not mean those places did anything wrong or that they have to close, only that an infected person or persons was known to visit there and those who visited at the same time should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. Those who develop symptoms should self-isolate and contact a doctor.

Those warnings, one of several this week, come as Northeast Michigan recorded 55 new COVID-19 cases in the last seven days. That number is far higher than the virus slowdown in the summer, but lower than the 71 cases reported last week, which was among the worst weeks since the pandemic began in mid-March.

Check out the interactive graphic below showing active infections in Northeast Michigan since the pandemic began. Story continues below graphic.

Since the outbreak’s onset, 362 Northeast Michigan residents have been infected, including 182 Alpena County residents, 86 Presque Isle County residents, 43 Montmorency County residents, and 51 Alcona County residents. Of those, 189 people have recovered — the last recovery was reported Oct. 19 — and 18 have died, the last on Oct. 27.

That means 155 Northeast Michiganders are actively infected — diagnosed, but not recovered or dead. The worst during the first wave of the virus in the spring was 106 people on Memorial Day.

Health Department officials have also identified 49 people probably infected with COVID-19, meaning they’d been exposed to an infected person but hadn’t been tested, themselves. Probably infected are 25 Alpena County residents, 11 Presque Isle County residents, five Montmorency County residents, and eight Alcona County residents.

Hospitalization ticked downward today, with nine fewer people in the hospital than on Thursday across the state-designated, 18-county health care region that includes Alpena, Presque Isle, and Montmorency counties.

District Health Department No. 4 officials said in a press release they understand the community is suffering from “Covid Fatigue.”

“However, this does lead to letting our guard down which is indicative of the dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases we are seeing,” the press release said. “Residents may not be maintaining the vigilance required to prevent the disease from spreading.”

Communitywide spread dramatically increases the risk to vulnerable residents, according to the release.

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