Cluster of COVID-19 cases at Marquette care center

MARQUETTE — The Norlite Nursing Center in Marquette has confirmed two new COVID-19 cases in the facility, bringing the total number of the residents from the facility who tested positive for the virus to five.

The active cases are in addition to a Norlite resident who is known to have died from the virus Friday, officials say.

“In all, there are five confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the facility that we are currently treating down (in) our isolation wing and staff are taking every precaution throughout the facility,” a Monday Facebook post states. “Residents and staff are not co-mingling between the wings, and the large fire doors are shut to prevent unwanted traffic.”

Norlite Administrator Wayne Johnson said Tuesday he could not confirm any staff cases as it would be a violation of those individuals’ rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

“I will not comment on the HIPAA-protected information of staff members without their consent, which I was not given,” Johnson said in a text message.

An employee who underwent testing after she was found to have a fever during a routine screening prior to her shift at the facility March 26 was the initial COVID-19 case at Norlite. A second employee reported to The Mining Journal on Monday that she had also tested positive. She underwent a test March 29 after suffering what she described as “flu-like symptoms” and is in quarantine at her home, she said.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday afternoon reported 38 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Upper Peninsula, including four deaths.

In the Upper Peninsula, Luce, Houghton and Chippewa counties each have a single case in a resident so far; Dickinson and Mackinac have two cases, with a death in Dickinson County ; Gogebic County has three cases and one death; Delta County has seven cases; and Marquette County has 19 cases and two deaths.

The MDHHS also separately lists prison inmates as positive in Luce and Chippewa counties.

Iron, Menominee, Keweenaw, Baraga, Alger, Ontonagon and Schoolcraft counties have had no positive cases so far.

The MDHHS reported 1,749 new COVID-19 cases in the state Monday, with a total of 18,970 to date. The state had 118 new deaths for a total of 845 to date.

Dickinson County Healthcare System had no new cases to report Tuesday. So far, it has one county resident test positive — that man died late Thursday — along with three people from other counties. DCHS has tested 71 people for COVID-19, with four positive, 56 negative and 11 results still pending.

In Wisconsin, the state Department of Health Services’ COVID-19 data site by county showed three positive cases in Marinette County and two positive in Florence County, both over this past weekend. Wisconsin’s Iron County reported a death from coronavirus complications March 26. Forest County has yet to have a positive case with 17 tests done so far.

The Daily News contributed to this report.


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