Iron County has had three more coronavirus-related deaths, local health officials said Monday as the number of COVID-19 positives in that county continues to surge.
As has been the practice, the Dickinson-Iron District Health Department released no other information on the deaths, saying only it “would like to send its deepest sympathy to the families in these trying times.”
The DIDHD also reported 31 new COVID-19 positives in Iron County since Friday, raising its total number of confirmed cases to 178, compared with 136 in Dickinson, though that county did have another 12 cases Monday.
The news comes only days after both the Forest Park Schools in Crystal Falls and the West Iron County School District in Iron River shut down in-person classes because students and staff in both districts had tested positive for the virus. Virtual learning will be done in Forest Park through Friday, while West Iron plans to stay with remote learning through Oct. 9.
The Iron County Medical Care Facility in Crystal Falls is dealing with an outbreak as well, with 36 residents and 26 employees testing positive as of Saturday, according to a statement on the facility’s website, adding that residents and staff are being tested at least weekly. Of those, 28 residents and nine employees remain in isolation or off work.
The Upper Peninsula has seen a significant widespread spike in COVID-19 positives this month, leading to speculation Michigan’s governor may downgrade the region’s status to tighten restrictions again.
In Houghton County, Michigan Technological University called a two-week timeout for in-person classes as a result of climbing coronavirus numbers. Lecture-based classes for the university, which has more than 7,000 students, will be online no later than Wednesday through Oct. 11, MTU President Rick Koubek said.
“This transition is a targeted effort to mitigate further spread among our community at large by temporarily reducing the density of people on campus,” Koubek said.
Houghton County public schools last week suspended classes for at least two weeks.
The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department on Monday had Houghton County with 428 cases, 13 more than the state figures. It also added a second death in Baraga County that the state had not yet listed.
The state’s data site Monday was hard-pressed to keep pace with the latest numbers. Its update from Saturday indicates 52 new cases in Delta County, plus an eighth death; 20 new cases in Houghton County; 17 in Menominee County; 16 in Iron County; 13 in Marquette County; 12 in Dickinson County; two in Baraga County; and one in Gogebic County. Several of the local health departments, however, had higher totals.
In total for the Upper Peninsula, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Monday had Keweenaw County with eight confirmed cases and two probable; Luce County, 12 confirmed cases and one probable; Alger County, 17 confirmed and one probable; Baraga County, 22 confirmed cases, nine probable and a death; Schoolcraft County, 25 confirmed cases and two probable; Ontonagon County, 41 confirmed and one probable; Mackinac County, 42 confirmed cases and 17 probable; Chippewa County, 50 confirmed cases and 28 probable; Dickinson County, 140 confirmed cases, three probable and two deaths; Gogebic County, 148 confirmed cases, 14 probable and a death; Iron County, 175 confirmed cases, four probable and two deaths; Marquette County, 319 confirmed cases, 57 probable and 12 deaths; Menominee County, 342 confirmed cases, 54 probable and a death; Houghton County, 415 confirmed cases, 90 probable and one death; and Delta County, 419 confirmed cases, 52 probable and eight deaths. State numbers are updated daily but can lag behind local reports or have other discrepancies.
Using only the state figures Monday, the Upper Peninsula has had 2,159 confirmed COVID-19 cases to date with 28 deaths.
The MDHHS reported 1,308 confirmed new COVID-19 cases in Michigan since Saturday for a total of 122,735 to date. The state added eight new deaths since Saturday for a total of 6,731.
For Wisconsin counties in the region, that state’s data site showed 60 new cases in Marinette County, five in Vilas County, three in Florence County and two in Forest County.
On Facebook, the Forest County Health Department lists 19 new cases for a total of 286, along with a sixth death.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ COVID-19 data site Monday had Marinette County with 944 confirmed cases, 19 probable cases and eight deaths; Forest County, 274 confirmed, three probable and four deaths; Vilas County, 212 confirmed, seven probable and a death; Iron County, 142 confirmed, seven probable and one death; and Florence County, 94 confirmed and two deaths. As with the Michigan data, the state numbers are updated daily but can lag behind local reports or have other discrepancies.
Wisconsin recorded 1,726 new positives in the state Monday for a total of 117,588, according to the state DHS data site. The state had two new COVID-19 deaths Monday to reach 1,283.
The DIDHD on Monday reported Iron County had178 confirmed cases and six probables, with 31 recovered, four deaths and 149 cases still active. Dickinson County had 136 confirmed cases and three probables, with 64 recovered, two deaths and 73 cases still active.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.