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Dickinson County COVID patient dies

IRON MOUNTAIN — The Dickinson-Iron District Health Department confirmed on April 2 the death of an adult male who had been diagnosed with COVID-19.
    According to the Dickinson County Healthcare System (DCS), where the patient was treated, the man had pre-existing medical issues that were compromised by COVID-19.
    The DIDHD, which reported the man’s presumptive positive test result on April 1, said it will not provide other information about the case, citing respect for the family.
    Some health entities have also stated HIPPA laws as reason for the lack of public information disclosures.
    On Monday, April 6, the DIDHD reported that it had been notified by a commercial lab of a second presumptive positive COVID-19 case in Dickinson County. The test was conducted through a provider clinic.
    The person was identified as an adult female with contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case. The Dickinson-Iron District Health Department is currently contacting those who have been identified as a close contact. As in the first reported case, the department said it will not disclose any additional information about the individual.
    After the male patient’s death, DCS released the following statement:
    “Dickinson County Healthcare System is reporting that the patient who returned a presumptive positive test result for COVID-19 has died as a result of complications from the virus.
     “In fulfillment of their duty as representatives of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and to assure the highest possible level of health for the people of the communities it serves, the Dickinson-Iron Health Department is responsible for and will be the sole entity confirming COVID-19 related deaths in Dickinson County.
     “Every precautionary protocol was followed by DCH while caring for this patient. DCH is fully equipped to handle any new COVID-19 cases as they present themselves. We continue to reassure our community that it is safe to come to DCH for your and your family’s healthcare needs. We are here for you.  
     “Remaining transparent and keeping stakeholders informed is paramount but being respectful of families rights and obeying HIPPA guidelines, makes full disclosure impossible.”  
    As of Monday morning, there were 35 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Upper Peninsula with three deaths, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
    Counties that have had positive cases included Ontonagon (1), Luce (1), Chippewa (1), Dickinson (2, 1 death), Mackinac (2), Houghton (2), Gogebic (3, 1 death), Delta (7) and Marquette (14, 1 death). The MDHHS also separately lists prison inmates as positive in Luce and Chippewa counties.
    Iron County, along with Menominee, Keweenaw, Baraga, Alger and Schoolcraft counties, have had no positive cases as of April 5.