The latest COVID-19 surge is creeping into the Copper Country.
While levels still remain relatively low, the state health department reported 61 new confirmed cases in Houghton, Baraga, Keweenaw and Ontonagon Counties in the past week. That compares to 45 in the previous week. Forty-nine of the new cases were in Houghton County.
Statewide, the seven-day average of daily diagnoses jumped past 3,300 in the report released Wednesday. That’s a 500 percent increase since April 1st. The death rate is also beginning to edge upward again, with an average of nine COVID-related fatalities per day over the past week.
Officials are cautioning that the actual infection rate is probably significantly higher. Positive results from at-home tests are not entered into the system. The more recent variants often produce milder symptoms, which are sometimes not recognized as COVID-19. People who have mild or no symptoms can still transmit the virus to others, who can develop more serious infections.
Health experts continue to stress the importance of vaccinations and boosters in controlling the latest surge.