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Northeast Michigan’s largest daily COVID-19 death toll reported

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

ALPENA — Eight more Northeast Michiganders have died after being infected with the coronavirus, public health officials said today, the largest daily death toll since the beginning of the pandemic.

Two Alpena County residents, five Presque Isle County residents, and one Alcona County resident have died, local health departments said. Alcona County’s figures were updated today for the first time since New Year’s Eve. The next-largest daily death toll was Dec. 15, when five Northeast Michiganders were reported dead.

Today’s update means now 63 Northeast Michiganders have died since the pandemic began.

Meanwhile, state data shows 13 new resident deaths, 49 new resident infections, and 17 new staff infections at Northeast Michigan nursing homes. The state changed its reporting methods as of Dec. 29, reporting deaths in which the deceased was confirmed infected with coronavirus infection and those suspected of being infected but not tested, and reporting confirmed infections cumulative since Jan. 1, 2020.

It wasn’t clear how much of the recent spike was related to the new reporting methods and how could be attributed to actual new infections or deaths.

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

Most of the spike was logged at two places — MediLodge of Rogers City, which had 20 new infections and two new deaths, and MediLodge of Hillman, which reported 10 new infections and four new deaths.

A MediLodge corporate spokesman did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.

Public health officials today also reported 25 newly infected Northeast Michiganders, including 12 Alpena County residents, one Presque Isle County resident, one Montmorency County resident, and 11 Alcona County residents.

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

That means that, as of today, 1,593 Northeast Michiganders were actively infected, meaning they’d been confirmed infected with COVID-19 but have not recovered or died, and could infect others.

State data showed that, as of today, 932 doses of coronavirus vaccine had been administered in Northeast Michigan — 98 more than on Monday.

As of Monday, eight COVID-19 patients, none of whom were in intensive care, were hospitalized at MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena, according to state data. The Alpena hospital was 27% full.

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

As of today, 65 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, 2,103 Northeast Michiganders have been infected, according to local public health agencies. Of those, 447 have recovered and 63 have died.

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