COVID-19 case rate drops in western UP


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HANCOCK – The cumulative rate of COVID-19 cases for Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties fell for the fourth straight week, according to an update from the Upper Peninsula West Health Department on Friday.

The rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population is 276.2 in Baraga County, 208.5 in Gogebic, 150 in Houghton, 182 in Keweenaw and 206.4 in Ontonagon, for a total of 185.2 cases per 100,000 population in western UP.

Last week the cumulative case rate was 298.6 per 100,000 population and as of February 2 it was 634.4. The most recent weekly update from the health department to show an increase in the case rate was on January 19, where the case rate rose by more than a third, from 980.3 to 1,535 .8 per 100,000 people in just seven days.

However, this week’s case rate is still nearly double what the Centers for Disease and Prevention considers a high transmission rate. According to the CDC, a case rate of 0 to 9 per 100,000 population is low risk for transmission, 10 to 49 is moderate risk, 50 to 99 is substantial risk, and 100 or more is high risk.

In the past seven days, there have been 24 new cases of COVID-19 in Baraga County, 33 new cases in Gogebic, 55 new cases in Houghton, four new cases in Keweenaw and 13 new cases in Ontonagon, for a total of 129 new cases.

There were also three deaths from COVID-19 in Houghton County and one death each in Baraga, Gogebic and Ontonagon, for a total of six deaths across the five counties. This means that at least three people in western UP have died with COVID-19 for 11 consecutive weeks.

According to the Iron County Health Department, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 or deaths in Iron County, Wisconsin since Feb. 9, but there have been six probable cases.