WVBI COVID-19 Update for July 16, 2020

Governor Whitmer says that warding off a second wave of COVID-19 spread could once again shutter schools and businesses. The way to avoid that, she says, is for everyone to wear masks. There were 891 new cases confirmed Thursday by state health officials. Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun says that number is “very concerning.” She also noted that that the state-wide positive test rate has gone from 2.8% last week to 3.4%. It bears mention that that jump is entirely driven by events the new deaths jumoed own state. The positive test rate in what t5he state calls the Traverse City region, which includes us has moved up a little, but remained well under the 3% at around 2%. The latest number is 1.9%. Up in the U-P, there was a more noticeable rise because they had been at an almost 0 positive rate for a month. They peaked at almost 2% the week of July 4th, but are now back down to a 1.1 percent positive test rate.
Yesterdays report on new cases was a bit better. 645 were reported, but double digit new deaths were reported. 16 was the tally. State officials say you should focus on the averages, though. The average number of deaths stand at 595, the highest since mid-May. For deaths, the number is 11, which has continued at a fairly stable rate since Mid-June. Total confirmed cases across the state are now at 71,197. Total deaths at 6,085.
As of Thursday, the state’s hospital systems were treating 428 coronavirus patients, up from 415 on Wednesday. There are currently 107 on ventilators, down slightly from 109.
On the island, four new tests reported as run bringing the total to 122. Eight more tests are back as negative bring that number to 117. Four tests pending. Still, only one test has come back as positive, and that test would now be classified by the state as recovered.
In our region, the confirmed case count is up nine cases to 407. No new deaths. New cases are in Benzie, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Leelanau and Otsego. There was also a drop of three cases in Charlevoix from reclassification. [Antrim 25 cases, still no deaths. Benzie is at 14 cases and one death. Charlevoix has 38 cases including one from the island, and two deaths. Emmet is at 35 with two deaths. Grand Traverse is at 101 cases with six deaths. Kalkaska has 30 confirmed cases three deaths. Leelanau at 45, no deaths. Otsego confirmed case count is at 108 with 10 deaths.] U-P is up 11 cases to 291. Death toll remains the same at 18.
If you’ve been down to grand Rapids, you’ve probably noticed the big building with the wave design on its side along the highway. Built in 2004 its been a newspaper print facility for many Michigan news papers. It’s owners announced yesterday that they are closing it and will move all printing for their eight Michigan newspapers to – Cleveland, Ohio. They say Michigan papers will still arrive at the same time barring traffic problems, which could never happen in Ohio. What with all the driving skill there. And bad football teams.