COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations rise in Northeast Michigan
ALPENA — COVID-19 is spreading faster in Northeast Michigan — and putting more people in the hospital — than it has in several weeks.
Public health officials say 113 Northeast Michiganders contracted COVID-19 in the past week, the largest number of newly infected residents in a single week since mid-February. And MyMichigan Medical Center Alpena reported eight COVID-19 patients in its care, the most since early March.
It’s too soon to say whether the virus will again become more deadly. Public health officials say only one Northeast Michigander died this week after contracting COVID-19, but a rise in death counts has in the past lagged a rise in infections as those who contract the disease get worse over time.
The chart below shows the number of newly infected Northeast Michiganders reported by local health departments each week. NOTE: The health departments have occasionally adjusted numbers downward as data is reviewed, meaning new cases sometimes show as a negative number. The story continues below the graphic.
As of Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still considered Alpena, Presque Isle, Montmorency, and Alcona counties as areas of medium risk for coronavirus spread. That means the CDC recommends those at most risk of serious illness — such as the elderly — talk to their doctors about whether they should wear a facemask in public, but the CDC doesn’t recommend masking for the general population.
The CDC had for weeks considered the region an area of low risk for COVID-19 spread as public health officials reported low counts of new infections, deaths, and hospitalizations.
However, weekly new infections have been significantly higher since mid-April. Several Up North counties near Northeast Michigan are now considered areas of high risk.
The chart below shows the number of COVID-19 patients admitted at MyMichigan Medical Center Alpena each week. The story continues below the graphic.
The number of new infections is likely higher, as public health officials don’t track at-home test results. The figure includes both confirmed infections and those treated as infected but not tested, such as family members of confirmed infected people.
The chart below shows the number of new COVID-19-related deaths reported each week by local public health departments. The story continues below the graphic.
Meanwhile, the state says about 59% of Northeast Michiganders 5 and older have received a complete initial round of coronavirus vaccine, and about 37% of adults had received a booster dose.
The chart below shows the number of Northeast Michiganders 5 and older fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The story continues below the graphic.
Since the pandemic’s start in mid-March 2020, public health officials have reported 11,511 infections among Northeast Michiganders, and 291 related deaths.