A Wisconsin public-health official blames “quarantine fatigue.”
A Michigan health officials points to laxer rules in Wisconsin regarding masks, bars and restaurants.
Whatever the reason, counties on either side of the Michigan/Wisconsin border in the Upper Peninsula are current hot spots for coronavirus.
Gogebic, which is Michigan’s westernmost county and includes the city of Ironwood, currently has Michigan’s highest coronavirus infection rate, with 34 new cases in the past seven days. That’s 45% of the county’s 76 confirmed cases since March.
Meanwhile, Iron County in Wisconsin, which borders Gogebic, has the highest infection rates in its state, according to a July 30 report by Wisconsin Public Radio.
Two other hot spots are Menominee County, Michigan, and Menominee County, Wisconsin. The Michigan county has reported 22 cases in the past week, and has totaled 82 cases since March.
“We suspect it has to do with the crossover of people back and forth into Wisconsin, because they’ve been open a little bit longer over there, and they just now are going to a masking order this weekend,” said Kate Beer, public health officer for the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department. “They just don’t have as tight of restrictions.”
Meanwhile, Zona Wick, a public health nurse in Wisconsin, told Wisconsin Public Radio that she blamed “quarantine fatigue.”
Months of low numbers “lulled people into complacency,” Wick said. “They said, ‘We’re rural, our numbers are very low, so we’re safe to have gatherings here in our community.”
Another hot spot in Michigan is Huron County at the tip of the Thumb, which has had 26 cases in the past week. That spikes appears to be linked to a group who went bar-hopping through the county in mid-July and unintentionally exposed others to the virus.
“We think there may have been a lot of spread from that,” said Dr. Mark Hamed, medical director for the Huron County Health Department. “We’ve had a huge uptick in the past two weeks.”
Menominee, Huron and Gogebic counties are among six counties identified hot spots for coronavirus in Michigan, based on per-capita case numbers over the seven-day period ending July 31.
The other three counties are Macomb, St. Joseph and Gladwin. The latter was in the news this week for an outbreak at a Christian youth camp that infected 42 people from around the state.
The six counties all are averaging more than 10 cases per day per 100,000 residents over the past week, a level that puts them at “accelerated spread” based on a metric used by the Harvard Global Health Institute.
(At the end of this post are online databases that allow you to see coronavirus numbers for any Michigan county for the past 20 days.)
The Harvard institute codes counties as red, orange, yellow or green. Gogebic in the far western Upper Peninsula was the only county coded red as of July 30, while five were coded orange, 61 were yellow and 16 were green.
Red indicates a county should lock down, according to Harvard’s metrics. Orange indicates counties should consider stay-at-home orders and/or “rigorous test and trace programs,” the Harvard institute says. Yellow indicates a need for “rigorous” testing and tracing. Counties in green are “on track for containment,” the Harvard institute says.
On the map below, readers can put their cursor over a county to see the underlying data. If you can’t see the map, click here.
Nine counties reported no coronavirus cases from July 24-31. They are: Alcona, Alpena, Arenac, Baraga, Keweenaw, Luce, Missaukee, Montmorency and Schoolcraft.
Latest on coronavirus testing
Meanwhile, seven Michigan counties have a positive rate of at least 5% in coronavirus tests reported in the last seven days ending July 30.
A rate of 5% or more indicates the county may not be testing enough and/or the virus could be on the upswing in that community.
Macomb has the highest seven-day average at 6.8%. The other six counties: Gogebic (6.6%), Monroe (6.1%), Saginaw (5.6%), Hillsdale (5.4%), Wayne (5.2%) and St. Joseph (5.1%).
Once again, readers can put their cursor over a county to see the underlying data. If you can’t see the map, click here. (Note: There are typically more positive tests than confirmed cases because a single patient may be tested multiple times.)
Latest daily report
The state reported 734 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, along with eight deaths.
Thirty-two of Michigan’s 83 counties reported no new cases on Friday.
Wayne County topped Friday’s report with 147 new cases. Other counties in the top 10: Macomb (130) Oakland (115), Kent (50), Genesee (44), Kalamazoo (27), Washtenaw (20), Ingham (19), Muskegon (18) and Saginaw (14).
Here’s a look at the five Michigan counties with the most confirmed cases to date.
1. Wayne County: 25,524 cases (2,677 deaths)
2. Oakland County: 11,357 cases (1,084 deaths)
3. Macomb County: 9,107 cases (899 deaths)
4. Kent County: 6,426 cases (151 deaths)
5. Genesee County: 2,775 cases (269 deaths)
Wayne County reported four deaths; Kalamazoo reported two and there was one each in Oakland, Monroe and Huron counties. There was one death removed from the Ingham County total.
The map below shows total confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths since the start of the pandemic. You can put your cursor over a county to see the underlying numbers.
Below are online databases that allow readers to look up county-level data for each of the last 20 days.
Cases by day it was reported to the state
First is a chart showing new cases reported to the state each day for the past 20 days. This is based on when a confirmed coronavirus test is reported to the state, which means the patient first became sick days before.
You can call up a chart for any county, and you can put your cursor over a bar to see the date and number of cases.
Numbers for Wednesday, July 29, are inflated in some counties by a backlog of old test results just reported to the state.
Can’t see the chart? Click here.
(In a few instances, a county reported a negative number (decline) in daily new cases, following a retroactive reclassification by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. In those instances, we subtracted cases from the prior date and put 0 in the reported date.)
Cases by day of onset of symptoms
Below this chart shows new cases for the past 20 days based on onset of symptoms. In this chart, numbers for the most recent days are incomplete because of the lag time between people getting sick and getting a confirmed coronavirus test result, which can take up to a week or more.
You can call up a chart for any county, and you can put your cursor over a bar to see the date and number of cases. (Can’t see the chart? Click here)
For more statewide data, visit MLive’s coronavirus data page, here. To find a testing site near you, check out the state’s online test finder, here, send an email to COVID19@michigan.gov, or call 888-535-6136 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.
COVID-19 PREVENTION TIPS:
In addition to washing hands regularly and not touching your face, officials recommend practicing social distancing, assuming anyone may be carrying the virus.
Health officials say you should be staying at least 6 feet away from others and working from home, if possible.
Use disinfecting wipes or disinfecting spray cleaners on frequently-touched surfaces in your home (door handles, faucets, countertops) and carry hand sanitizer with you when you go into places like stores.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has also issued executive orders requiring people to wear face coverings over their mouth and nosewhile in public indoor and crowded outdoor spaces. See an explanation of what that means here.
For more data on COVID-19 in Michigan, visit https://www.mlive.com/coronavirus/data/.
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