CADILLAC — Wexford County has had four positive COVID-19 cases since Michigan began tracking the outbreak.
On Friday evening, the COVID-19 cases in the Cadillac News coverage area stood at zero for Lake County, one for Missaukee County, three for Osceola County and four for Wexford County.
The Missaukee County patient died a week ago Fridaday.
In Wexford County "of the four confirmed cases, two are still hospitalized, one was discharged home, and one was never hospitalized," according to District Health Department No. 10, which has jurisdiction in Wexford County.
Munson Cadillac Hospital's COVID-19 numbers stood at 6 positives, two hospitalized and 17 awaiting results, with 146 overall tests and 146 total tests.
On Friday, Michigan's tally of cases reached 12,744 with 479 deaths. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who issued a "Stay Home" order that was effective on March 24, 2020, issued another order on Friday that strengthened the order.
The order says "People who test positive or who are experiencing symptoms must wait to leave their homes until three days have passed since their symptoms have resolved and seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared, or since they were swabbed for the test that yielded the positive result."
Close contacts of a symptomatic individuasl or of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 "should remain in their home until 14 days have passed or the symptomatic individual receives a negative COVID-19 test," Whitmer's office said.
The order is consistent with prior health department advice, according to Dr. Joe Santangelo, chief medical officer for Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital.
The two timelines (three days since symptoms disappear or seven days since they appear) can be confusing. But most people are sick with COVID-19 for long enough that it's the "three-day" rule you need to remember, Dr. Santangelo said.
The rule is based on data about the contagiousness of COVID-19. Limited testing ability means not everyone gets tested for the disease.
"If we could test every person and we could have a good way to determine if you were shedding virus, then we'd do that. (But) we don't have that right now," Dr. Santangelo said. "So we're using this clinical guideline, which makes a lot of sense."