For the seven-day period ending Wednesday, November 3rd, COVID cases were mostly stable, and extremely elevated, across the Copper Country. Houghton County is experiencing the highest transmission rate recorded since the beginning of the pandemic. Cases inched upwards from 210 to 227. Baraga and Keweenaw Counties are seeing less activity, reporting 48 and 10 cases respectively. Adjusting for population, Houghton County is still ahead of its neighbors.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 70 percent of counties in the United States have high community transmission.
Florida has the lowest case rate in the United States. The Deep South is also enjoying a calm period, in line with seasonal effects seen last year. The “sun belt” of the United States tends to see spikes in the dog days of summer and the trend is strong enough that even having school go back into session, or the return of packed collegiate sporting venues with up to 100,000 people in one location does not cause the numbers to stay elevated into the fall.
For much of the country, it is the cooler weather, as people are driven indoors, that is the impetus for a rise in cases. States as diverse geographically as Vermont, upper Michigan, Minnesota, Idaho, and Colorado have seen cases at 12-month highs, some at record levels.
Michigan Tech’s COVID-19 dashboard includes data up to November 5th, last Friday. It shows that the current spike is beginning to recede. Campus cases over a two-week period fell back from 87 to 51. The 7-day average for Houghton County is down to 25 from 30. Case spikes tend to take six to eight weeks to ebb back to less threatening levels.