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More than 1,000 Northeast Michiganders actively infected

Another Alcona County resident dies

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

ALPENA — With 45 new infections and the death of an Alcona County resident announced today, more than 1,000 Northeast Michiganders are now actively infected with COVID-19 and could infect others, according to a News analysis of local public health data.

The sharp spike in infections — the same number of infections were reported in the last seven days as in all of the the first six months of the pandemic — prompted local public health departments to urge residents to take precautions to keep themselves and the community safe. Health officials urge residents to stay home if they are sick or think they may have been exposed to the coronavirus and help officials with contact tracing.

Local health departments reported 45 new infections today, including 23 Alpena County residents, seven Presque Isle County residents, 10 Montmorency County residents, and five Alcona County residents.

That followed 282 new infections reported on Monday — including 35 Alcona County residents who weren’t reported until late Monday. That was local health officials’ first update since the day before Thanksgiving.

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

That means that 1,036 Northeast Michiganders were actively infected as of today, meaning they’d been confirmed infected but hadn’t recovered or died.

Meanwhile, the state health department today announced eight more employees at MediLodge of Alpena, one resident and three employees of MediLodge of Greenview, and an employee at Jamieson Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center were newly infected with COVID-19.

Nursing home infections are particularly worrisome because elderly residents there are among the most at-risk of severe complications from COVID-19.

And Alcona Community Schools and the Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service district today each reported one more employee had been infected.

AMA ESD Superintendent Scott Reynolds said in a letter to the community the infected employee did not have ties to Pied Piper School. Alcona Superintendent Dan O’Connor said in a letter to parents that school staff would notify those who need to self-isolate.

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

As of today, 136 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, 1,283 Northeast Michiganders have been infected, according to local public health agencies. Of those, 221 have recovered and 26 have died.

Health officials advise those who are sick to stay home, to schedule a coronavirus test as soon as they begin to show symptoms, and to self-isolate at home until results come back, according to a public health advisory issued today.

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

Those who test positive for COVID-19 should self-isolate at home and notify those with whom they came into close contact. Those who were in close contact with an infected person are urged to self-isolate for 14 days from their last contact with the infected individual.

Health officials also urge residents to answer calls, texts, or emails from the state or local health department and to wear masks, social distance, and follow capacity limits while in businesses or establishments.

The advisory also encourages residents to keep a social bubble of fewer than 10 people and no more than one other household. Residents should also consider modifying their travel plans.

Check out the public health advisory issued today by Northeast Michigan health departments.

DHD Nos. 2 and 4 Health Advisory by Crystal Nelson on Scribd

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