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COVID Cases Remain Low; State Reduces Reporting

COVID-19 cases remain low across the region.

The Western U.P Health Department reports 44 new confirmed cases in the past seven days. 28 came in Houghton County. Official case counts are likely underrepresented, because at-home test results are frequently not reported.

Two of our neighbors died – one in Houghton County, and one in Baraga County.

See full statistics here.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is following federal recommendations, and is encouraging second booster shots for some residents. Those ages 50 and older are eligible, along with moderately or severely immunocompromised individuals over age 12.

The decline in COVID-19 cases across Michigan is causing the state to cut back its public reporting on coronavirus statistics.

COVID-19 cases have dropped to the lowest level since before the Delta variant took hold last summer. Hospitalizations have fallen by 90 percent since January. 

Beginning next week, statewide statistics will be updated weekly on Wednesdays, instead of three times per week. Officials said that’s partly because of the falling number of cases, and partly because home tests are not included in the totals, making them less reliable.

That doesn’t mean the danger has fully passed. Outbreaks have recently been confirmed at 13 school districts in the southeastern portion of the state. The new BA.2 Omicron subvarient is highly contagious, and has now been diagnosed in patients in the Copper Country. Fortunately, symptoms seem to be mostly mild, and could actually be mistaken for seasonal allergies. Officials say both maladies can include runny nose, sneezing, cough, headache, sore throat, itchy or watery eyes, and fatigue. BA.2 could also produce fever, body aches, and a loss of the sense of taste or smell.

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