WVBI COVID-19 Update for May 28, 2020

Health Center now has 15 COVID-19 tests pending. The sudden surge of tests is presumably at least partially in response to news over the weekend of a person on the island testing positive ahead of elective surgery. Health Center is reporting 57 patients tested with 41 tests back negative, one positive and 15 pending.
News of the positive test doesn’t seem to have much affected activity on the island. Though down from normal, traffic this week in town has been up dramatically from the week before as folks return to dining out and shopping in. Dalwhinnie’s, the Shamrock and the Community Center are all open for dining with the option to eat inside, and both McDonough’s Market and Island Energies have reopened for in-store shopping.
And, once again you can drop by the Eager Beaver to do laundry or wash your car. Theresa McDonough says they’ve been doing a soft reopening but are not pretty much back to normal. Plenty of cars out there with three or more months of grime on them needing a wash.
Governor Whitmer’s husband’s attempt to get their boat in the water for the Memorial Day weekend has brought the governor plenty of attention she’d probably just as soon not have. Media across the country have picked up the story. It all stems from what the governor claims was a failed attempt at humor by her husband. When told there was no chance of getting the boat in, he reportedly asked, “I am the husband to the governor, will this make a difference?” There has been coverage from television and cable networks, major metro newspapers and major websites-even the U-K based Guardian Newspaper’s US website was on the story.
Oops. Apparently not so funny.
Meantime, barber shops and salons continue to bristle under the governor’s shutdown orders. A group of two dozen owners and workers delivered a letter to the governor yesterday laying out a comprehensive health and safety plan for re-opening more than 350 facilities across the state. The plan is modeled after plans in other states where such businesses have been allowed to reopen.
Numbers across the state took a bit of a bounce yesterday as slow reporting over the weekend flowed in. Officials reported 504 new cases yesterday, the largest single day tally in six days. That and 68 new deaths. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 55,334 and total deaths to 5,334. Officials said the surge was partly due to weekend reporting delays and partly from increased testing in Michigan prisons. Seven-day averages continue to look good though. Average new case level is at 371-the lowest since March 23rd. Average for deaths is 39, up three from yesterday, but still well below the averages even at the beginning of May.
In our region, total confirmed cases are steady at 205. Death toll remains stable at 20-no change in that since May 12th. County by county, Otsego confirmed case count is stable at 100 with 10 deaths. Emmet is stable at 21 with two deaths. Grand Traverse is at 23 cases with five deaths. Charlevoix at 15 cases including one from the island, and one death. Kalkaska has 19 confirmed cases two deaths. Antrim 12 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 one to at 109 confirmed cases. Death toll is stable at 15.