WVBI COVID-19 Update for November 17, 2020

This morning there are reports on Facebook of an active COVID-19 case on the island.  Unfortunately, that’s all the information we right now.  But, as a result, Dalwhinnies has moved to take-out service only and the Shamrock has temporarily closed—all of that information from Facebook posts.  The Health Center is not reporting any positive test results this morning, but is showing one additional test and 8 pending tests back as negative.  They have two tests pending.


Meantime, restaurant owner’s around the state are reacting with a mix of resignation and despair to the latest shutdown order, that according to reporting by M-Live this morning. They say that of the 747 traced outbreaks now ongoing across the state, 47 have a source at a restaurant or bar.  Not a large percentage, but not many other classes of sources have more.  Whatever the wisdom of the decision, the impact appears to be significant. Michigan Restaurant and Lodging C-E-O Justin Winslow says 2,000 Michigan restaurants have closed so far this year and that without stimulus support, another 6,000 could close by spring.


Some national health experts have praised Michigan’s current response as nuanced and evidence based.  That’s how President Obama’s C-D-C director characterized it.  But, the West Michigan Business Forum’s leader Doug Devos is cautioning against further on-size fits all restrictions. He says businesses have plenty of incentive to avoid spread of the virus and are in the best position to implement safety precautions tailored to their circumstances.


Hospitalization utilization rates appear to be mixed across the state, with some reporting spikes and expressing dire concern about staffing while others are experiencing less impact.  Still, utilization is up across the board. Muskegon’s Mercy Hospital says they have an emergency situation due to staff shortages and Spectrum Health in west Michigan says they are days away from reaching capacity.  In our region, 69% of available beds are filled.  The rate is 84% for I-C-U beds. That compares to 58% and 77% at the end of October.


Here on the island, B-I-C-S high school students are in school in person for one last day before going to virtual learning for at least three weeks.  They’ll be using the day to get ready for that transition, but of course they already have experience with it from the spring semester.  For now, the school intends to continue in-person classes for pre-school through 8th grade.  The School Board’s Return to School Committee will meet on Wednesday to review next steps.


State health officials reported more than 12 thousand new cases in their latest report, which covered two days. There were 56 new deaths over the same period.  Average for new cases is now 6,825 a day and 61 for deaths. The number of active cases in the state is at 121,470—that based on the count of new cases less than 30 days old.  In our region, there were 208 new cases and seven new deaths. 11 of the new cases were in Charlevoix.  Deaths were in Antrim with one, Emmet with four and Grand Traverse with two. There are now 2,313 active cases in our 8 county region, which is averaging 125 new cases a day and 2 deaths a day. 


Full data for our region and summaries for the state, the UP data and our Safe Start Zone are in today’s script online.

Cases Deaths Δ Cases Δ Deaths
Totals State 264576 8049 12763 56
Region 3719 68 208 7
TVC Zone 5634 121 383 8
UP 9577 166 425 3
7 Day Rolling Averages State 6825 61
Region 125 2
TVC Zone 201 5
UP 254 4
Note: Look back now 6 days divided by 7 to adj. for no Sun. data.
County Cases Deaths Δ Cases Δ Deaths
Region Antrim 260 2 17 1
Benzie 219 3 15 0
Charlevoix 325 5 11 0
Emmet 693 22 26 4
Grand Traverse 1228 17 73 2
Kalkaska 229 4 12 0
Leelanau 258 2 19 0
Otsego 507 13 35 0
Est. Active Cases State 121470
Region 2313
TVC Zone 3564
UP 5618
Note: Look back now 26 days to adjust for 4 Sundays with no data.
 Data for November 16, 2020


In a bit of non-COVID-19 news, the B-I-C-S school board has a vacancy on the board they are looking to fill with an appointment of an interested community member. If you are interested, applications are due by 3:30 on December 7th. More information is in the calendar entry.