Alpena COVID risk again low, CDC says
ALPENA — Alpena County again faces a low risk of COVID-19 infection, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
The CDC had recently — for the first time in months — raised its COVID-19 threat level to “high” for Alpena County, following a burst of infections. The CDC recommended everyone wear a mask, regardless of their vaccination status, and suggested those most at risk of serious illness from infection — including the elderly and those with compromised immune systems — avoid indoor public gatherings altogether.
Now, however, the CDC says the threat of infection is low for Alpena County and recommends only that people stay up to date on their COVID-19 inoculations and avoid those who have contracted the disease.
Presque Isle, Montmorency, and Alcona counties also were lowered to areas of low risk, according to the CDC. As of last week, those areas had been considered places of medium risk. In areas of medium risk, the CDC recommends that only those most at risk of serious illness from coronavirus infection wear a mask.
As of last week, the CDC had said two other Michigan counties — Alger and Marquette counties in the Upper Peninsula — were areas of high risk.
Now, however, Marquette County is considered an area of low risk and Alger County is considered an area of medium risk.
The CDC also considers Monroe County in Southeast Michigan an area of medium risk.
The rest of the state is considered low risk.
In the past week, state public health officials reported 69 new COVID-19 infections and one coronavirus-related death across Alpena, Presque Isle, Montmorency, and Alcona counties.
Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, 360 Northeast Michiganders have died after contracting COVID-19.
About 59.5% of Northeast Michiganders had received a complete first round of COVID-19 vaccinations as of Wednesday, according to state data, and nearly 40% had received at least one booster dose. Both of those figures have remained essentially unchanged for roughly a year.