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Few details provided on Dickinson COVID-19 death

IRON MOUNTAIN — Local health officials still have released few details on the death of Dickinson County’s first COVID-19 case.

The man died Thursday evening, only a day after being confirmed as the county’s first resident case of the novel coronavirus. Friday, Dickinson County Healthcare System did issue a statement “that the patient had pre-existing medical issues that were compromised by COVID-19.”

Neither the Dickinson-Iron Health Department, which DCHS said would “be the sole entity confirming COVID-19-related deaths in Dickinson County,” nor the hospital would provide such information as age or where the man was from in the county, saying “being respectful of families’ rights and obeying HIPPA guidelines makes full disclosure impossible.”

DCHS officials added in the statement, “Every precautionary protocol was followed by DCH while caring for this patient. DCH is fully equipped to handle any new COVID-19 cases as they present themselves. We continue to reassure our community that it is safe to come to DCH for your and your family’s health care needs.”

While the amount of information released has varied so far, such details as where the person worked or whether the individual recently traveled to an area where they could have been exposed to COVID-19 have been provided for some of the Upper Peninsula cases so far.

As of Friday afternoon, DCHS had four positives among 58 tests administered, one a county resident, one each from Marinette and Delta counties and the fourth with no listing of home county other than being from outside Dickinson. The county has had 39 people test negative, with 15 results pending.

The Upper Peninsula reached 23 confirmed cases of COVID-19 by Friday afternoon, with two deaths. Houghton and Dickinson each have one case, with the Dickinson man being a fatality; Chippewa and Luce

counties have two cases, with one in each county being a prison inmate; Mackinac County rose to two cases Friday; Gogebic County has three cases and one death of an elderly man March 26; Delta County has five cases; and Marquette County has seven, including employees at Norlite Nursing Center and Jacobetti Home for Veterans and a Marquette County Medical Care Facility resident.

Marinette County Public Health officials Tuesday announced a second confirmed case of COVID-19 but gave no other details.

Wisconsin’s Iron County reported a death from coronavirus complications March 26. Florence and Forest counties have yet to have a positive case with two and 14 tests done, respectively, as of Friday.

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