The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

New Gogebic County COVID-19 case reported


June 20, 2020


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HANCOCK — The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department announced a new positive COVID-19 case in Gogebic County Thursday afternoon — the first positive case locally since mid-May.

No additional information was available Friday morning regarding the person who tested positive.

Prior to the announcement of the latest case, WUPHD health officer Kate Beer told the Daily Globe her department has to walk a fine line between informing the community and protecting the privacy of those who test positive when deciding how much to say about each case.

“What we look at is the risk to other people that could be involved,” Beer said. “When you look at all of our cases, so far (they) have generally been confined to people that have traveled to the area and have visited just a specific person or family.”

She said Michigan's stay-at-home order has also kept people safe and reduced the need to reveal information about specific cases.

“We've also been under stay at home orders, so people that have become positive … have generally stayed at home. So (an infected person) may have only traveled to the gas station or the grocery store, and it may not have been within that window of time where they would have been either symptomatic or been able to shed the disease,” Beer said, adding it also matters whether they had enough interaction with others to possibly spread the virus.

“Just being in the same gas station parking lot as someone is not a contact, you have to be in close contact for more than 10 minutes,” she said.

Thursday's case is the seventh positive case in Gogebic County and 19th case in the five-county area of Gogebic, Ontonagon, Baraga, Houghton and Keweenaw counties. Three of the 19 positives — including one Gogebic County case — are from non-Michigan cases who tested positive after traveling to the area.

There has been one death in the five counties positively linked to COVID-19 — Gogebic County's first reported positive case that was announced on March 26.


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