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Frank A. Douglass Insurance Agency

COVID numbers high, may be undercounted

Houghton County reported 87 new COVID-19 cases for Thursday and Friday on a combined basis last week. Chief Health Officer at the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department, Kate Beer, says the number is accurate and not bolstered by one-off factors like a backlog of pending cases all coming in at once.

Beer thinks kids are playing a part in the transmission.

We’ve got outbreaks going on within the school-age population, which is now translating into the adult population.

Hancock Schools Superintendent Steve Patchin wrote to parents Friday afternoon about the types of symptoms COVID is causing, along with other respiratory viruses like the flu. “To date, we have seen a wide variety of reactions from no symptoms to mild colds to more severe flu symptoms. We are not aware of anyone with severe enough reactions to be hospitalized.”

Beer says numbers are most likely being undercounted as schools are using antigen tests similar to what can be found in Walgreens or other drug stores. When people get positive results from those home tests, Beer believes few report it to the health department.

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