Lapeer, St. Clair counties each report

two more deaths in the past week


TRI-CITY AREA — The rapid rate of new COVID-19 cases continues to cause concern among local health officials.

“As of Monday, November 9, the county is experiencing a record 9.5% positivity rate. Due to the increase in people infected, the current level of new cases per day in November represents a 144% increase compared to the number of new cases per day reported in October,” the St. Clair County Health Department said in a release.

“The impact and rate of these changes is already considerably more than a week ago.”

As of Monday, St. Clair County had 1,015 active cases of COVID-19 and two deaths had been reported in the past week.

In Lapeer County, 160 new cases have been confirmed in the past week, from Nov. 3-9. The age range of those infected is eight months to 100 years. There’s been two additional deaths in that time frame as well. The 39 people that have died from the virus range in age from 43 to 96 years.

COVID-19 cases continue to be reported in local school buildings as well. In the past week, Imlay City Schools has announced probable and confirmed cases at the middle and high schools and within their transportation department. In Dryden, 22 students from the high school remain in quarantine until Nov. 16 due to a positive case there.

On Monday, the state’s School-Related Outbreak Reporting showed Imlay City’s Weston Elementary School as having three cases among preschool staff and four cases among students and staff at Imlay City High School. The preschool case was first reported by the district in late October.

State officials have said their school-related outbreak reporting is not necessarily all encompassing. Anyone who was exposed to the virus outside of the school setting and who isn’t believed to have spread it within the school is not included in the state data.

Both counties’ health departments said it continues to be difficult for them perform contact tracing or investigate sources of infection.

To that end, health officials are asking area residents to be aware of and follow general recommendations if they or a family member become ill.

•Do not work while ill, regardless of whether you have had a COVID-19 test or not. Assume you have COVID-19 until you KNOW otherwise.

•If you think or know you have COVID-19, remain in isolation for the full 10 days even if you are feeling better.

•If exposed, stay in quarantine to the best of your ability for 14 days, and make every effort to avoid contact with others during this time.

•You can resume normal activities when 10 days have passed since symptoms started (or test date if no symptoms), you are fever-free for 24 hours, and your symptoms have improved.

•If you experience difficulty breathing, shortness of breath or chest pain call 9-1-1 and go to your nearest emergency room.

Dr. Annette Mercatante, St Clair County’s Medical Health Officer explained, “In these weeks or months between high transmission rates and the release of a vaccine, we simply have to deal with this reality. Remember what is making you mildly ill can be life threatening to someone else. These difficult times will get better, but we have to work together to minimize the impact of this on our community and economy. And we have to act now.”