Wexford County reaches 100 COVID-19 cases

CADILLAC — Wexford County reached 100 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday.

"Confirmed" cases are people who have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In Wexford County, another 20 people are considered "probable" cases but never (or have not yet) tested positive for SARS-COV-2.

Osceola County was the only other local county with new cases announced on Monday. There were three new cases since Friday, bringing the total number there to 79 in addition to 10 probable cases.

The other two counties in the Cadillac News coverage area, Lake and Missaukee counties, remained at Friday's numbers. Lake County had 31 confirmed and one probable, while Missaukee County had 39 confirmed and 15 probable.

State data shows the positivity rate last week for the four counties was 2.1%, down slightly from the week ending Sept. 5, which had a positivity rate of 2.3%.

For the week ending Sept. 12, there were 26 out of 1,264 tests that came back positive, or 2.1%. That's not the same thing as being new or potential cases because some people are tested more than once.

So far in September, the positivity rate in the four counties is 2%. If the positivity rate stays at 2% or higher through the rest of September, it will be the month with the highest positivity rate since April, when 54 out of 876 tests (6.2%) came back positive for people living in the four counties.

On Monday, the state started releasing information about outbreaks at schools. None of the schools in the newspaper's coverage area have had an outbreak, according to state data.

However, 28 students at Ferris State University in Big Rapids have had the virus.

The state will update information on outbreaks at schools every Monday.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services noted that the information regarding outbreaks at schools may be incomplete.

"This information does not provide a complete picture of school outbreaks in Michigan and the absence of identified outbreaks in a school does not mean it is not experiencing an outbreak," the department's news release stated.

The state also started releasing information about outbreaks related to certain settings.

In Region 7, of which Wexford and Missaukee counties are part, there were no new outbreaks pertaining to any particular setting.  There are some ongoing outbreaks. Two are related to long-term care facilities; two are related to healthcare settings; one is related to religious services and one is related to community exposure (such as a meeting or concert).

In Region 6, where Osceola and Lake counties are located, there are 13 new outbreaks or clusters. Two are in agriculture, food processing or a migrant camp; one is an employee-associated outbreak at a restaurant; one is in a K-12 school; three are at a college or university or institute of higher learning; one is in manufacturing or construction; three are employee-associated retail outbreaks; one is in personal services (such as salons, spas and gyms) and on is associated with a social gathering, such as a birthday party. There are another 25 ongoing outbreaks in Region 6, with long-term care, agriculture, restaurant employees, higher education, manufacturing or construction each having four ongoing outbreaks.

On Monday, District Health Department No. 10, which serves Wexford, Missaukee and eight other counties, announced that a restaurant in Mecosta County was the site of possible public exposure. The health department said that somebody "who tested positive for COVID-19 was present and potentially contagious at El Burrito Loco in Big Rapids on Sept. 6 from 4:00-8:00 p.m." If you were there at that time, the health department says you should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the date of possible exposure. You should stay away from family, friends, roommates and other close contacts. If you develop symptoms, call a medical provider. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever or chills, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle aches, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and recent loss of taste or smell.

The department noted that approximately 40% of COVID-19 cases appear to be asymptomatic. Because asymptomatic people appear to be perfectly fine, they may be out the in the community, spreading the virus before they ever learn they are sick.

Cadillac News