WVBI COVID-19 Update for May 25, 2020

The COVID-19 Chicken finally came home to roost here on the island with the first reported positive COVID-19 test involving someone who had been on the island. The Northern Islander reported on Sunday that a person without symptoms being tested ahead of surgery had a positive test. Health Center director Tammy Radionoff says they are following the plan they had in place for such an event. Contact patterns for the patient are being traced and appropriate health authorities have been notified. The Northern Islander reports that the person had been off the island but had quarantined 14 days upon return.
That news comes just a day after Dalwhinnies and the Shamrock began to offer dine-in service while the BIC Center also opened again, though those changes appear to have had nothing to do with the positive test. Likewise, unrelated was Thursday’s reopening at McDonough’s Market, where limited in store shopping began. Over the weekend, Island Energies also re-opened to limited in store shopping. All the re-openings appear to have gone smoothly. The change was noticeable on the street that went from the deserted state of the last several months—with few cars passing and even fewer parked—to a more typical looking early spring day.
This weekend was probably the first in modern times when more people came to Beaver Island than went to Mackinac. That’s because Mackinac stuck to their plan to open next weekend with a soft start—plans in place well ahead of the Governor’s announcement last week that allowed northern Michigan and the U-P to begin a return to normal. They had no ferries running all weekend while Beaver Island’s Emerald Isle made daily trips and both Island Airways and Fresh Air were busy with passengers.
The positive test for the island along with additional testing now puts the Health Center reported stats as 42 patients tested, 41 back as negative and that one positive.
Apparently reflecting the delays in case reporting we’ve seen all along, the single positive test on the island wasn’t showing up in the data released by state officials on Sunday with Charlevoix County still showing 14 cases. Still, the confirmed case for the region was up two over the weekend to 203. Death toll is stable at 20. County by county, Otsego had one of the new cases bringing it to 100 and still 10 deaths. Emmet is stable at 21 with two deaths. Grand Traverse is at 23 cases with five deaths. Charlevoix still at 14 with one death (though we know that number should be up one to 15), Kalkaska had the other reported addition, up one confirmed case to 19 with two deaths, Antrim has 11 cases, still no deaths, Leelanau at 11, no deaths. And Benzie is at four cases and no deaths. Up in the U-P, they are up three to at 107 confirmed cases. Death toll is stable at 15.
Statewide, 314 new cases were reported and just five deaths—the lowest number of daily tragedies since March 21. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 54,679 and total deaths to 5,228. With recoveries at 33,168, up almost 5,000. That leaves just over 21-thousand active cases.
A few reminders. Island fire and E-M-S personnel want you to practice situational awareness. Don’t do things that put you at risk. Stay safe.
Governor’s orders now require you to wear face masks when in enclosed public spaces. Need a mask? Check with the Health Center. Probably makes sense to get in the habit of having one with you.
Keep up to date with the march back with the W-V-B-I COVID-19 info page. Just go to W-V-B-I dot net and click on COVID-19 Info in the menu at the top.