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Additional case information released

BARAGA, GOGEBIC, HOUGHTON, KEWEENAW, and ONTONAGON – The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department (WUPHD) continues to investigate the recent COVID-19 case in a Gogebic County resident announced over the weekend. The person has a recent travel history to an urban area in another state. WUPHD is currently interviewing the person and informing any close contacts about exposure risk.

“To date, all but one of our COVID-19 positive cases have been associated with interstate or international travel,” said Kate Beer, Health Officer at WUPHD. “I urge people to continue limiting travel, quarantine for 14 days if you do travel, and practice good hygiene by washing your hands, staying home if you are ill, and thoroughly cleaning commonly touched surfaces.”

WUPHD worked with the State Emergency Operations Center and Michigan National Guard last week to test residents and staff at several area long-term care facilities and County jails. The effort produced 598 tests with no positive cases found. The agency does not include these results in its routine test reporting.

The health department is working through the new executive orders announced today that will allow a partial re-opening of the region and will share additional guidance as it becomes available.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

• Cough

• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

• Fever

• Chills

• Repeated shaking with chills

• Muscle pain

• Headache

• Sore throat

• New loss of taste or smell

People should seek immediate medical attention if they have trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, or bluish lips or face.

WUPHD is working to coordinate their response with community partners. Updates are available at www.wuphd.org. There is a State informational hotline available from 8 AM EST to 5 PM EST seven days per week. That number is 1-888-535-6136. Additional information on COVID-19 can be found on the MDHHS website (www.michigan.gov/coronavirus), or the CDC website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/).

COVID-19 testing numbers for the five-county jurisdiction, as of May 18:

— Baraga: 158 referred for testing, four tests canceled, one positive, no non-Michigan cases, 132 negatives, 21 tests pending, no recoveries, no deaths.

— Gogebic: 239 referred for testing, four tests canceled, five positives, one non-Michigan case, 173 negatives, 56 tests pending, three recoveries, one death.

— Houghton: 674 referred for testing, 15 tests canceled, two positives, no non-Michigan cases, 565 negatives, 92 tests pending, two recoveries, no deaths.

— Keweenaw: 60 referred for testing, three tests canceled, no positives, no non-Michigan cases, 49 negatives, eight tests pending, no recoveries, no deaths.

— Ontonagon: 73 referred for testing, two tests canceled, no positives, no non-Michigan cases, 57 negatives, 14 tests pending, no recoveries, no deaths.

— Total: 1204 referred for testing, 28 tests canceled, eight positives, one non-Michigan case, 976 negatives, 191 tests pending, five recoveries, one death.

Canceled tests are those that a provider chose not to submit after a different illness was confirmed, or a clinical decision not to test or a patient declined the test after a referral was already assigned. Recovered are lab confirmed cases that are alive 30 days post-onset. Deaths are also included in the number of positive tests, they are not additional positives.

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