No new local cases Wednesday as governor closes downstate bars

CADILLAC — Following an uptick Tuesday, there were no new COVID-19 cases Wednesday in Wexford, Missaukee, Lake or Osceola counties.

Wexford County remained at 26 cases Wednesday, following Tuesday's one-day jump of seven cases; Osceola County had 24 cases, Missaukee County had 20 and Lake County had seven.

On Wednesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that downstate bars would once again close to indoor business, though they'll be allowed to serve outdoors.

Northern Michigan bars aren't affected by the new executive order.

“We owe it to our front line heroes who have sacrificed so much during this crisis to do everything we can to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the chance of a resurgence like we are seeing in other states,‘ said Governor Whitmer. “Following recent outbreaks tied to bars, I am taking this action today to slow the spread of the virus and keep people safe. If we want to be in a strong position to reopen schools for in-person classroom instruction this fall, then we need to take aggressive action right now to ensure we don’t wipe out all the progress we have made.‘

Her office noted that there's been an uptick of cases throughout the state and that daily case counts exceed 20 cases per million in the Grand Rapids, Lansing and Kalamazoo regions.

Furthermore, a greater percentage of young people are getting sick—nearly 25% of diagnoses in June were of people ages 20 to 29 compared to 16% in May. The governor's office said that shift "aligns with national trends, and the evidence suggests that young people may be driving a new phase of the pandemic."

The governor, did, however, take one step that would make it easier for bars and restaurants to make money during the pandemic: Whitmer signed a package of laws allowing to-go cocktails.

“Bars will not have to close down completely, but may still offer outdoor seating and use creative methods like cocktails-to-go in hopes that we can bring our numbers down,‘ Governor Whitmer said. “I am hopeful providing options for cocktails-to-go and expanded social districts will ensure these businesses can remain open and Michiganders can safely and responsibly enjoy their summer outdoors.‘

On Wednesday, statewide cases were up 262 with four new deaths. The statewide total reached 64,132 with 5,951 deaths.

Most of the Wexford County cases have been in or near Cadillac. Of Wexford County's 26 cases since March, 16 were in the 49601 zip code; the others were split between the 49668 (Mesick) and 49618 (Boon) zip codes.

In Wexford County, eight of the 26 people to be diagnosed have recovered, while four have died.

In Missaukee County, more than half of the people who tested positive for SARS-COV-2 are from the McBain area. Of the 20 cases, 12 were in the 49657 zip code, while the rest were in the 49651 (Lake City and Moorestown and 49665 (Marion) zip codes. 

In Missaukee County, of the 20 people to be diagnosed, 15 have recovered and one has died.

In Lake County, six of the seven cases are in the 49304 (Baldwin) zip code, while the seventh was in 49656 (Luther). Six of the seven cases have recovered.

In Osceola County, six of the 24 cases have been in the 49655 area code (LeRoy). Tustin (49688) has seen five cases. The rest have been in Evart, Hersey, Reed City and Sears. The health departments don't report precise numbers for zip codes when there are fewer than five cases in that zip code. Osceola County has not had any COVID-19 deaths but has had nine recoveries.

Cadillac News