CADILLAC — District Health Department No. 10 on Tuesday reported that four more people in Missaukee County have died as a result of COVID-19, although that doesn’t necessarily mean those deaths occurred this week, or even this month.
DHD No. 10 public information officer Jeannine Taylor said the deaths were discovered by the health department’s epidemiologist during a records review.
She said it’s not uncommon for record reviews to find that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in someone’s death, sometimes months after the death actually occurred.
“Things get added at various times,” Taylor said. “Those most likely occurred (possibly months) previously.”
With the four added on Tuesday, the total number of people who’ve died in Missaukee County from the disease now stands at 23.
Overall COVID positivity rates continue to climb in the region as the delta variant moves through the population, including in the schools.
According to statewide data released this week by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, recent case rate increases were highest amongst school-aged kids.
The average number of daily new cases statewide among people 10-19 years old increased by 97% over a week-long period.
“K-12 schools reported the greatest number of new outbreaks (71) this week, and there were an additional nine new outbreaks in childcare and youth programs for a total of 80 new outbreaks in settings primarily with 0-19-year-olds,” MDHHS wrote.
Last week, DHD No. 10 reports that school-aged kids accounted for positive cases in Wexford, Missaukee and Lake counties.
In Wexford County, cases included “community contact, school-aged, college, indoor mass gathering, and social gathering.”
As of Wednesday, four people were reported hospitalized with COVID at Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital.
Information on the number of positive cases and hospitalizations among those fully vaccinated is not available on the any of the local health department or hospital websites.
Taylor said DHD No. 10 generally follows the guidelines and datasets issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Michigan Department of Health and Human Service, neither of which have indicated that breakthrough cases are a dataset they should be tracking.
The Cadillac News asked for additional details about breakthrough cases in this region and is awaiting a reply.
According to MDHHS statewide data, fully vaccinated people account for 20-25% of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
“As the fully vaccinated population has increased, so have the percent of breakthrough incidents; but breakthrough burden remains lower,” MDHHS reported. “In the last 30 days (Aug. 9 — Sept. 7), 11,940 (25%) of 48,664 cases, 275 (25%) of 1,095 hospitalizations, and 35 (19%) of 184 deaths were among fully vaccinated individuals.”