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1 new infection reported as vaccination eligibility slightly expands

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

ALPENA — Public health officials on Tuesday reported one newly infected or probably infected Northeast Michiganders, an Alpena County resident, as vaccination eligibility expands slightly, according to health officials.

Some food and agricultural workers are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, but the health department serving Alpena, Montmorency, and Presque Isle counties will prioritize those already eligible, according to Cathy Goike, spokeswoman for District Health Department No. 4.

According to Goike, 75% of the health department’s weekly vaccine supply is administered to people 65 years and older, with 25% going to all other eligible workers.

As of Feb. 18, local public health agencies have reported confirmed and suspected infections as one number.

Based on that data, 2,950 Northeast Michiganders have been confirmed or suspected infected since the pandemic hit Michigan in mid-March. Of those, 104 have died.

State data showed that, as of Monday, 20,860 doses of coronavirus vaccine had been administered in Northeast Michigan.

COVID-19 vaccination appointments are available for qualifying MidMichigan Health patients beginning Thursday, the health system announced Tuesday.

Patients aged 65 or older and some essential workers may sign up for an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine by calling 989-794-7600, option 1.

To qualify, patients must either be 65 or older or be a health care worker, school employee with direct contact with children, first responder, or corrections worker, or work in a congregate care institution or as an essential worker in the food processing and agricultural industries.

Those eligible may call the MidMichigan COVID hotline 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday to make an appointment.

A list of COVID-19 testing sites is available at www.michigan.gov/coronavirustest.

As of Monday, two people were hospitalized at MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena with coronavirus infection, neither in intensive care, according to state data. The hospital was 47% full.

As of Tuesday, 30 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.

The last death was reported Monday.

Local public health officials have stopped tracking recoveries.

COVID-19 vaccine: Frequently asked questions

Who’s currently eligible to receive the vaccine?

Those 65 and older, health care workers, police, firefighters, teachers and child care workers.

How do I get an appointment?

Pre-register online (preferred) at dhd4.org, dhd2.org, or clinic.meijer.com. Residents of Alpena, Presque Isle, or Montmorency counties can call 989-356-4507 and choose option 1.

What if I don’t have the internet?

The Alpena Senior Citizens Center can help. Call 989-356-3585.

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