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First COVID-related death in IC confirmed

IRON RIVER/KINGSFORD — At one point about four months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Iron County remained one of just a couple of counties in the state without even a confirmed case, let alone a COVID- related death.
    That has all changed. The Dickinson-Iron District Health Department reported that it was notified of the first death of an Iron County resident on June 27. (No other information about the individual was or will be released, the DIDHD said.)
    The first two presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Iron County were reported by the the health department on June 1. A third case was reported on June 15, a fourth on June 18 and the fifth was reported on June 25.
    There have been scant details reported by the health department on these cases. After the DIDHD posted the announcement of the fifth case on Facebook and before the first death was reported, the Reporter requested more information on the Iron County cases.
    DIDHD health officer Daren Deyaert responded, saying that the “majority” of the Iron County cases were travel related.
“This is both residents visiting destinations outside the county and returning and people from out of county visiting,” Deyaert said. “People must understand that just because travel is allowed, it comes with the risk to both them and their community. People must adhere to the social distancing, wearing of a face covering, and self-quarantine for the 14-day period if they must travel outside the area. If we want to keep COVID-19 out of our community, everyone needs to do their part.”
    Deyaert also responded to why there has been little information on specific cases released by the department.
    “I understand people are wanting answers to what is going on with the COVID-19 cases within their communities,” he said. “As with several of our programs, we are very limited on what information we can legally release. All cases and close contacts are being monitored and given instructions by health department staff on a daily basis.”
According to mich.gov, as of June 28 there were 152 cases of Coronavirus-19 in the U.P. with 18 deaths. Marquette had the most in both categories – 64 cases and 11 deaths (see chart).
As of Monday, June 29, the state of Michigan had almost 65,000 with 6,158 deaths, while the United States had over 2.5 million cases with almost 128,000 deaths.
Globally, there have been more than 10 million cases with approximately 500,000 deaths.
    The first reported COVID-19 death was in China on Jan. 11, 2020.

COVID IN U.P. (as of June 28; source mich.gov)
County    Cases    Deaths
Alger    2    0
Baraga    4    0
Chippewa    4    0
Delta    18    3
Dickinson    6    2
Gogebic    7    1
Houghton    11    0
Iron    5    1
Keweenaw    1    0
Luce    3    0
Mackinac    8    0
Marquette    64    11
Menominee    15    0
Ontonagon    0    0
Schoolcraft    4    0
Totals    152    18