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Visitors restricted at Alpena hospital as infections climb

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

ALPENA – Beginning Friday, MyMichigan Medical Center Alpena will reimplement visitor restrictions as 300 Northeast Michiganders were infected in the last week.

“We are indeed in the thick of yet another surge,” MyMichigan Medical Center Alpena President Chuck Sherwin said in a written statement. “With the increased number of COVID positive patients hospitalized here, and the positivity rate rising in our area and across the state, it’s our responsibility to do all we can to protect our patients, staff and the community.”

The hospital will allow one healthy support person with a pediatric patient, those in critical condition, or where it is determined necessary. The Women’s Health Unit will allow two support people. The support people must be healthy and must be the same people throughout the patient’s stay, and no children allowed.

As of Thursday, 1,314 Northeast Michiganders were actively infected with COVID-19, while, as of Tuesday, about 56% of Northeast Michiganders 5 and older had been fully vaccinated against the disease.

This week’s active infections — a News estimate based on cumulative infections minus deaths and those who fit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition of recovered — is down from 1,320 active infections last week.

Meanwhile, among those 5 and older, the state says 54% of Alpena County residents, 59.5% of Presque Isle County residents, 54% of Montmorency County residents, and 57% of Alcona County residents have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The chart below shows the number of Northeast Michiganders actively infected with COVID-19, a News estimate based on cumulative infections minus recoveries and deaths. The story continues below the graphic.

Public health experts have said we could consider the coronavirus pandemic over once 70% of the population has been vaccinated.

In the past week, public health officials have reported 300 newly infected or probably infected Northeast Michiganders and the deaths of four Northeast Michiganders who had been infected with COVID-19.

The chart below shows the number of Northeast Michiganders 5 and older fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The story continues below the graphic.

Since February, Northeast Michigan health officials have reported confirmed and probable infections as one number. A person counts as a probable infection if they’d been exposed to a confirmed infected person and are showing symptoms but hadn’t been tested, themselves — such as family members of infected people.

The chart below shows the number of COVID-19 patients admitted at MyMichigan Medical Center Alpena. The story continues below the graphic.

As of Monday, 24 COVID-19 patients were admitted at MyMichigan Medical Center Alpena, two of them in intensive care. The hospital was 52% full.

State officials watch hospital occupancy rates closely to decide whether to impose new restrictions meant to slow the spread of infection.

Since the pandemic’s start in mid-March 2020, public health officials have reported 8,336 Northeast Michiganders infected or probably infected, and 200 related deaths.

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