Two new COVID-19 cases reported
June 30, 2020
By TOM LAVENTURE
The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department has reported a seventh positive COVID-19 case for Gogebic County. After reporting two new cases last Friday, the Iron County Health Department in Hurley said its sixth confirmed COVID-19 case was reported on Saturday.
Neither health department has released details on the cases.
According to a Saturday posting on the WUPHD Facebook page, the seventh case follows the most recent June 18 report of the county’s sixth case.
As of June 27, there are a total of 23 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the five western Upper Peninsula counties since coronavirus pandemic reporting started in March. Houghton County has a total of 11 cases, including three new cases reported June 22; Gogebic County has seven cases; Baraga County has four cases and Keenewaw County has one case. Ontonagon County has had no reported cases.
Four of Gogebic County’s cases have since recovered and one person has died. Over in Iron County, the health department said that one person has recovered and one person has died.
The reporting of COVID-19 cases will change as the testing widens the possibility of duplicate reporting under the current system, according to a June 15 WUPHD announcement from the health department office in Hancock.
“As community testing has increased the current reporting system is no longer an accurate representation of the total testing being conducted in the area,” said Kate Beer, health officer for the WUPHD. “Testing is now done by numerous entities using different reporting platforms. Individuals may be tested multiple times and at different locations. We need to change our reporting to what makes sense for the monitoring of the virus in our population.”
The health department now utilizes the online “MI Safe Start Map” at mistartmap.info.
According to the website, there have been approximately 1,200 tests taken of people in Gogebic County thus far in the pandemic for an average of 18.9 per day. The seven positive cases amount to 0.8% of all tests and the county remains in a low-risk status.
“We will continue to report out individual county-level positives, recoveries and any deaths as they occur and as a weekly summary each Thursday,” Beer said.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, according to the health department. The best prevention is to avoid exposure to the virus.
Symptoms may occur from 2-14 days after exposure. People may exhibit all, some or none of the symptoms that include cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, shaking, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or new loss of taste or smell.
The 1-888-535-6136 state COVID-19 informational hotline is available seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST. More information and resources are posted at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov.
Health guidelines prevention to prevent the spread of coronavirus and COVID-19 include:
—Limiting contacts to a small number of individuals.
—Social distancing of 6-feet
—Less than 15 minutes exposure to people outside of own group.
—Frequent and thorough handwashing with soap and water.
—Covering coughs and sneezes.
—Avoid touching your face, use sanitizer
—Staying home when sick.
—Wearing masks in public buildings, businesses and around groups of people.