CADILLAC — Heading into the Easter weekend, coronavirus positivity rates are still climbing.
As of Thursday afternoon, the most recent data from the state (March 30) had all four counties in the Cadillac News coverage area in double-digit positivity rates. The 7-day averages were 20% in Wexford County; 26.1% in Missaukee County; 13.1% in Lake County and 12.9% in Osceola County.
Also on Thursday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that another novel coronavirus variant has been found in Michigan. The P1 variant "was first identified in travelers from Brazil during routine airport screening in Tokyo, Japan in early January," per MDHHS. "The P1 variant has been associated with increased transmissibility and there are concerns it might affect both vaccine-induced and natural immunity."
The P1 variant was found in a Bay County resident.
"As of March 31, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 172 confirmed P1 cases from 22 states. As of March 31, Michigan has also identified 1,468 cases of B.1.1.7 variant infections in 51 Michigan jurisdictions and seven cases of B.1.135 variant infections in six Michigan jurisdictions," MDHHS said.
Both Wexford and Missaukee counties have seen the B.1.1.7 variant.
District Health Department No. 10 has previously urged people not to get complacent about COVID-19 prevention.
On Thursday there were more than 60 new confirmed COVID-19 cases across Wexford, Missaukee, Lake and Osceola counties.
Wexford County added 23 confirmed cases for a pandemic total of 1,872. Wexford County also added 14 probable cases for a pandemic total of 177 probable cases. Missaukee County added 18 cases and reached a pandemic total of 941 cases. Lake County added four cases and reached 413 total. Osceola County added 17 cases and reached a pandemic total of 1,164.
Statewide cases reached 678,295 and deaths reached 16,141 on Thursday.
MDHHS continued to call for Michiganders to;
Get vaccinated for COVID-19.
Wear a mask around others.
Stay six feet apart from others.
Wash hands often.
Ventilate indoor spaces.