CADILLAC — Two counties within District Health Department No. 10 are seeing spikes in positive cases from COVID-19, and it stated in a release it was from families gathering in many cases.
Newaygo and Oceana counties have saw their number of confirmed cases jump into more than 65 each in recent days. In a press release, the health department stated gatherings for such things as Mother’s Day led to the increase because some individuals unknowingly had the disease and spread it to others. In some cases, multiple generations contracted the disease.
The health department also stated more testing has become available in the area, including a drive-through testing clinic in Shelby through Northwest Michigan Health Services.
While Newaygo, Oceana and Mason counties remain under the stay-at-home executive order for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, other portions of the state including some within the health department’s district. That portion includes Manistee County.
The health department reminded the public of the danger of the ongoing pandemic.
“Keeping our residents and visitors healthy and safe is imperative,” stated Kevin Hughes, health officer for the health department, in a press release. “While we realize that re-opening this area is exciting, we also want to still maintain our health and safety practices to help avoid an increase in cases and a surge in our healthcare systems.”
The health department reminds the public that the disease can spread rapidly at mass gatherings and in enclosed spaces. It has other reminders, too:
• Do your research to make sure that the county or counties in which you live or plan to visit are in Region 6 or 8. If not, please stay home as outlined in the current executive orders.
• Follow the guidelines set forth in the current executive orders 2020-91 (Safeguards to protect Michigan’s workers from COVID-19) and 2020-92 (Temporary requirement to suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life). Gatherings of more than 10 are not permitted, even in Regions 6 and 8 in northern Michigan.
• Those that are sick need to stay home to avoid getting others sick.
• Practice good hand washing hygiene – wash hands regularly or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60% or more) if soap and water are not available.
• Clean all “high touch” surfaces every day with household cleaning spray or sanitizing wipes.
• Cover coughs, sneezes and avoid touching your face.
• Try to think of alternatives to serving meals buffet-style for holiday cookouts.
• Wear face coverings when inside or can’t maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance.
• If going outdoors, keep those from the same household seated together and keep a 6-foot distance from others.