GAYLORD — The Well being Division of Northwest Michigan could quickly take away its masks requirement for faculties.
“The masks mandate was at all times meant to be momentary, it was at all times meant to be utilized when we’ve epidemic situations that require that security measures needs to be in place. I think about by the top of the week, we’ll know what course we’re taking and, hopefully, we’ll be capable of make an announcement that we’ll be lifting it a couple of week later or so,” Lisa Peacock, well being officer with the well being division, mentioned at a Munson Healthcare briefing on Tuesday.
At present, 10 of Michigan’s 83 counties have a college masks requirement in place. The Well being Division of Northwest Michigan covers Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet and Otsego counties.
“The issues we’re (embody) circumstances and hospitalizations (from COVID-19) are trending downward. Hospitalizations didn’t peak as excessive as circumstances and that’s nice information,” mentioned Peacock. “We’re most likely a couple of week out from realizing the development that deaths are going to take — it is a lagging indicator.”
Peacock mentioned faculty superintendents have requested for advance discover of when the mandate will likely be lifted to allow them to put together for it.
One more reason why the masks requirement could finish is that oldsters now have had ample alternative to get their youngsters vaccinated, added Peacock.
Dr. Christine Nefcy, Munson’s chief medical officer, mentioned the 14-day positivity fee (or the proportion of people that have been examined that produce a constructive consequence) continues a sluggish however regular decline for the state and Northern Michigan.
Nefcy mentioned the state fee was 25.9% and the speed for Munson’s service space was 25.5%.
Munson now has 71 sufferers hospitalized with the virus, 23 of these had been vaccinated and 6 had acquired booster photographs. Forty-eight sufferers had not acquired a vaccine shot.
Nefcy mentioned 19 of the inpatients are within the intensive care unit, and that features simply two that had been vaccinated. Of the six sufferers requiring ventilators, all had been unvaccinated, she mentioned.
By way of a partnership with Alcona Well being Middle, the Well being Division of Northwest Michigan started distributing free COVID-19 residence checks to group members in any respect workplace areas in its four-county jurisdiction of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet and Otsego counties on Wednesday.
The checks, which embody two per field, will likely be obtainable on a primary come, first served foundation whereas provides final.
As well as, the well being division continues to distribute free KN95 masks at their workplace areas, additionally whereas provides final. All places of work are open from 8 a.m. till 5 p.m. and are closed from noon-1 p.m. for lunch. Workplaces are situated in Bellaire, Charlevoix, Gaylord, Harbor Springs/Petoskey, and Mancelona.
Though it’s now not essential to report a constructive residence check, the well being division mentioned residents can name them to acquire info on testing and different considerations associated to COVID-19.
“As we’ve moved away from common case investigation and phone tracing, our public well being officers are extra obtainable to individuals who want to attain out to us for assist,” Peacock mentioned. “We would like the group to know they’ll name (231) 882-2197 and that’s being answered reside throughout enterprise hours by a public well being skilled.
“When you’ve got questions on what to do for those who’ve examined constructive on a house check or you’ve questions on isolation or quarantine, returning to work or faculty, we’re prepared and ready to take these questions for you,” Peacock mentioned.
As of Feb. 8, the Well being Division of Northwest Michigan reported Otsego County had 5,404 COVID-19 circumstances and 92 deaths to this point from the coronavirus.
As of Feb. 1, Otsego County had 5,292 circumstances and 90 deaths from the illness.
Antrim County was reporting 4,153 circumstances and 54 deaths whereas Charlevoix County had 4,793 circumstances and 56 deaths. Emmet County had 6,211 circumstances and 73 deaths.
Antrim County reported 4,055 circumstances and 51 deaths on Feb. 1 whereas Charlevoix County had 4,708 circumstances and 55 deaths. Emmet County reported 6,089 circumstances and 70 deaths.
Statewide, Michigan had 2,026,646 circumstances and 30,747 deaths as of Wednesday, in line with the Michigan Division of Well being and Human Providers. The state was reporting 1,999,416 circumstances and 30,170 deaths on Feb. 2.
The primary two confirmed COVID-19 circumstances in Michigan had been reported March 10, 2020 and the primary loss of life was reported on March 19, 2020.
This text initially appeared on The Petoskey Information-Assessment: Well being division strikes nearer to lifting faculty masks mandate