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Virus cases up as state expands vaccine eligibility

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan is set to expand vaccine eligibility starting today, a move that comes as public health experts voice fresh concerns about the state’s rising COVID-19 infection rate.

Residents age 50 and older will be eligible for vaccines starting today. Ford Field in Detroit is set to open Wednesday as Michigan’s first federally run mass vaccine site.

However, the state’s COVID-19 cases have been increasing. Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive, said the state’s case rate spiked 77% over the past four weeks to 172.9 cases per million people.

“I am quite worried that we’re entering another surge,” Dawn Misra, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, told The Detroit Free Press. “If you’ve been watching the numbers the last couple of weeks … you could just see it all coming.”

In the region, state COVID-19 data sites showed a new coronavirus-related death in Iron County in the Upper Peninsula and another death in Marinette County in Wisconsin.

The fatal Marinette County virus case raises its death toll to 65, while Iron County has reached 42 confirmed deaths, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ coronavirus website.

The MDHHS on Saturday listed 41 new confirmed positives in the Upper Peninsula: 10 in Marquette County; eight in Houghton County; five in Delta and Chippewa counties; two in Dickinson, Iron, Ontonagon, Mackinac and Gogebic counties; and one each in Menominee, Schoolcraft and Luce counties. The state also added a new death in Iron County.

Using only the state’s figures, the Upper Peninsula as of Saturday has had 16,797 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 394 deaths.

Across the U.P., the MDHHS data site Saturday had Keweenaw County at 122 confirmed cases and 30 probable, and one death and one probable death; Luce County, 134 confirmed cases and 108 probable, one probable death; Schoolcraft County, 237 confirmed cases and 36 probable, four deaths and one probable; Alger County, 282 confirmed, 159 probable and one death, four probable; Mackinac County, 303 confirmed cases and 163 probable, three deaths; Ontonagon County, 370 confirmed, 57 probable and 20 deaths, one probable; Baraga County, 511 confirmed cases, 103 probable and 33 deaths; Chippewa County, 767 confirmed cases and 1,069 probable, and 24 deaths, four probable; Iron County, 870 confirmed cases and 60 probable, 42 confirmed deaths and nine probable; Gogebic County, 954 confirmed cases and 353 probable, 21 confirmed deaths and 28 probable; Menominee County, 1,635 confirmed cases, 271 probable and 38 deaths, two probable; Dickinson County, 2,155 confirmed cases and 247 probable, 55 confirmed deaths and 16 probable; Houghton County, 2,209 confirmed cases, 546 probable, 31 confirmed deaths and eight probable; Delta County, 2,724 confirmed cases and 497 probable, 66 confirmed deaths and 19 probable; and Marquette County, 3,524 confirmed cases, 558 probable and 55 deaths, one probable. State numbers are updated almost daily but can lag behind local reports or have other discrepancies.

The MDHHS on Saturday posted 2,660 confirmed new coronavirus positives in Michigan for a total of 624,811. The state added 47 new deaths Saturday — including 39 that happened earlier but recently were verified through vital records and testing, according to the MDHHS — to reach 15,897.

The state no longer updates its COVID-19 data site on Sundays.

For Wisconsin counties in the region, the state Department of Health Services’ COVID-19 data site this weekend had four new confirmed positives in Vilas County and one in Iron County; Forest County’s count reduced by one. The only new death in the region came in Marinette County.

The DHS on Sunday had Marinette County with 3,986 confirmed cases, 408 probable cases and 65 deaths, three probable deaths; Vilas County, 2,180 confirmed, 135 probable and 38 deaths, two probable; Forest County, 934 confirmed, 72 probable and 23 deaths, three probable; Iron County, 558 confirmed, 119 probable and 21 deaths, 19 probable; and Florence County, 425 confirmed, 49 probable and 12 deaths. As in Michigan, state numbers are updated daily but can lag behind local reports or have other discrepancies.

Wisconsin added 402 new positives Saturday and 420 on Sunday for a total of 572,432 confirmed COVID-19 cases to date. The state recorded 14 new deaths Saturday but none on Sunday to reach 6,576.

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