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Luce County has its first COVID case; third in UP

NEWBERRY — Health officials have reported the first person to test positive for COVID-19 in Luce County, bringing to three the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Upper Peninsula.

The LMAS — Luce, Mackinac, Alger and Schoolcraft counties — District Health Department was notified Wednesday that an adult male at the Newberry Correctional Facility had been confirmed as positive for COVID-19 through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Laboratory testing.

The inmate, who arrived at the Newberry facility in November, has been in isolation since March 16 while being treated by the Michigan Department of Corrections health care staff.

LMAS District Health Department believes the risk to the general public for now is low.

It is working with the Newberry Correctional Facility and is following Centers for Disease Control guidance to investigate the case and will follow up with anyone who has been in close contact with the inmate to assess and monitor for symptoms.

The department urges the community to continue to follow COVID-19 safety recommendations such as 6 feet for social distancing, along with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “stay home, stay safe” executive order put in place earlier this week for all but essential services and businesses. Reducing person-to-person contact is the best way to slow and reduce the spread of this novel virus to which the population has no immunity, the department advised.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Dickinson County Healthcare System has collected 20 specimens that have been sent to be tested for COVID-19. DCHS has received seven test results, all have been negative.

A total of three positive cases have been reported in the Upper Peninsula. The other cases are one each in Chippewa and Marquette counties.

Those who are sick and experiencing serious respiratory problems should call their care provider or the DCH COVID-19 Hotline at 906-776-5858.

People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to safely recover at home. COVID-19 symptoms — such as fever, cough and shortness of breath — may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, people should wash their hands properly, avoid close contact with sick people and disinfect commonly touched surfaces.

More information about COVID-19 and the Governor’s Executive Orders can be found at LMASDHD.org and Michigan.gov/Coronavirus.

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