The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department released its latest COVID-19 update covering the week period ending Wednesday, with cases rising again in Houghton County. Relief appears to be on the horizon though, as Gogebic County’s tally halved for a second straight period, down to just 20 cases over seven days. As the virus spreads northward it tends to affect the border counties first, and then reaches the Copper Country. The same pattern tends to hold when a wave ends.
A number of the outbreaks registered in Houghton County, tied to a significant portion of its 210 cases, were first discovered in area schools. That does not mean that the cases originated there, but robust testing regimens have been the standard operating procedure in the classroom. Houghton County conducted close to 1,000 tests during the period. An update last week from Hancock Schools Superintendent Steve Patchin said that few cases rose to the level of moderate illness and no hospitalizations had been tied to his district.
During Monday’s Health Board monthly meeting, WUPHD Chief Health Officer Kate Beer said one child had been admitted to the hospital from the region, but no other information was given.
Baraga County had 45 cases, with Keweenaw adding eighteen. The full table is below.