Low risk of COVID-19 spread in Northeast Michigan, CDC says | News, Sports, Jobs

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An illustration of the coronavirus provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

ALPENA — Northeast Michiganders now face a low risk of coronavirus infection, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

The CDC’s Friday downgrade of the region’s risk level means the federal health agency only recommends facemasks for those with symptoms of coronavirus infection, those who test positive for COVID-19, and those who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Facemask mandates had already been lifted for most settings in Northeast Michigan.

The CDC determines risk levels based on the rate of new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, and Northeast Michigan’s rates on both measures have plummeted in recent weeks.

Public health officials report 17 Northeast Michiganders newly infected with COVID-19 in the past week and zero new COVID-19-related deaths, down from 23 new infections and two deaths the week before.

A month ago, public health officials reported 94 new infections in a single week. A month before that, weekly new infections hit 359.

The chart below shows the number of newly infected Northeast Michiganders reported by local health departments each week. NOTE: The health departments have occasionally adjusted numbers downward as data is reviewed, meaning new cases sometimes show as a negative number. The story continues below the graphic.

The chart below shows the number of new COVID-19-related deaths reported each week by local public health departments. The story continues below the graphic.

As of Monday, three COVID-19 patients were admitted at MyMichigan Medical Center Alpena, none of them in intensive care. A month ago, the hospital had twice as many COVID-19 patients, and it had 16 patients a month before that.

The chart below shows the number of COVID-19 patients admitted at MyMichigan Medical Center Alpena. The story continues below the graphic.

Meanwhile, among those 5 and older, the state says 58% of Alpena County residents, 63% of Presque Isle County residents, 57% of Montmorency County residents, and 59% of Alcona County residents have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The chart below shows the number of Northeast Michiganders 5 and older fully vaccinated against COVID-19. NOTE: The state has occasionally adjusted the percentage downward as data is reviewed. The story continues below the graphic.

The number of new infections could be higher, as the data doesn’t account for any positive results from home testing not reported to local public health departments. It also doesn’t account for asymptomatic people who never take a test but could still spread the disease.

Since February 2021, Northeast Michigan health officials have reported confirmed and probable infections as one number. A person counts as a probable infection if they’d been exposed to a confirmed infected person and are showing symptoms but hadn’t been tested, themselves — such as family members of infected people.

Since the pandemic’s start in mid-March 2020, public health officials have reported 11,106 Northeast Michiganders infected or probably infected, and 277 related deaths.

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