CADILLAC — On Thursday, it was reported that Wexford County added two new COVID-19 cases.

Total case counts in area counties are 2,562 in Wexford County, 1,276 in Missaukee County, 596 in Lake County and 1,706 in Osceola County.

During a virtual press conference held earlier this week, Dr. Christine Nefcy, Chief Medical Officer for Munson Healthcare, said it’s important to remember that people who have not received a vaccination should still be wearing masks in group settings. This is especially important considering the potential presence of the more contagious and virulent Delta variant in Northern Michigan.

She added mask usage among staff and visitors continues to the hospital’s policy — a policy that recently has engendered some anger from visitors toward their front-desk staff and screening personnel.

Nefcy said the requirement to wear masks, while totally supported by the hospital system, is actually mandated by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Being a place of healing, Nefcy said they ask that people try to be considerate of others at the hospital who might not have the same point of view or have the same level of risk in regard to the coronavirus.

Jordan Powell, epidemiologist with District Health Department No. 10, said they are seeing more cases of COVID among those who travel outside the area. Powell added that with the recent lull in case numbers, they’ve been able to spend more time contact tracing new cases in the area to get a better idea how infections are occurring.

New cases in Missaukee and Lake counties from July 12 to July 19 include those stemming from community contact and a social gathering. Another was detected through inpatient testing.

clamphere@cadillacnews.com | 775-NEWS (6397)