In collaboration with the Western U.P. Health Department and Emergency Operation Centers in Baraga County, Gogebic County, Houghton County, Keweenaw County and Ontonagon County, Copper Country Strong Daily Briefs will be shared each weekday through the duration of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
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- As the State of Michigan begins easing restrictions, many businesses have asked about guidelines for reopening. While we do not yet know what the next opening business segment will be yet, all businesses and organizations can begin preparing their plan for when their turn comes. The Western UP Health Department has a Business Toolkit available on their website, https://www.wupdhd.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Business-Toolkit-Reopening.pdf, with guidance on precautions to take when reopening. More guides are available on the WUPHD website under the COVID-19 menu.
Updates from Western U.P. Health Department
- The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department (WUPHD) is expecting to report out increased COVID-19 testing numbers over the next few days. The increase is due to a collaborative effort between the WUPHD, Michigan’s State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) and the Michigan National Guard (MING) to increase surveillance testing in the area.
Area long-term care facilities, including the Lighthouse in Hubbell, Canal View in Hancock, and the Gogebic County Medical Care Facility in Wakefield, have volunteered to be a part of the project. The SEOC is transporting test kits and the MING is assisting with the testing of any staff that choose to participate. Facility staff will be conducting testing on residents that choose to be tested.
“The increased surveillance will inform our understanding of the status of the virus in our region,” said Kate Beer, Health Officer for the WUPHD. “We are appreciative of the time and effort that the Michigan State Police and the Michigan National Guard have put into this project and the collaborative response from the facilities that volunteered.”
The MING medical specialists assisting with testing this week have all tested negative for the virus and are a separate team than those that tested at the local Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) facilities last week. Results from the Baraga Maximum Security Facility revealed no positive test results. When not on mission, all members of the Michigan National Guard have been self-isolating and adhering to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance to ensure health and safety. The project is expected to be completed by Wednesday of next week.
“The Michigan National Guard has more than 500 members who reside in the Upper Peninsula, so this mission is about validating the information needed to ensure our neighbors and communities in the U.P. remain safe,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, Adjutant General and Director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “The men and women of the Michigan National Guard are technical experts and true professionals; we are proud to respond to this request for support.”
Updates from Houghton & Keweenaw Counties
- Houghton and Keweenaw Counties continue to distribute PPE from the state. An additional shipment is expected today or tomorrow. Shipments contain face shields, face masks, and gloves. A shipment of N-95 masks is expected yet this week.
Updates from Ontonagon County
- Today, another shipment of personal protection equipment (PPE) from federal and state resources funneled through the Region 8 Health Care Coalition to the Regional Distribution Hub in Greenland, MI. Michigan National Guardsmen continue to distribute PPE throughout the Western U.P.
PPE being delivered includes surgical masks, latex gloves, face shields, surgical gowns, N-95 masks, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital, Aspirus MedeVac in Ontonagon, New Beginnings AFC, Rolling Meadows Senior Living, and Safe Harbor Adult Day Care all received PPE this week.
Any agency with PPE needs is asked to email Mike Kocher at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those looking to make donations of PPE can find a list of needs and coordinate a donation by filling out the web form on the Volunteer/Donate page of CopperCountryStrong.com.
- Four-alarm birthday, via Daily Globe
- Assistance, info available to local businesses, by L’Anse Sentinel
If you have an update you would like included in this daily brief, please contact the appropriate county or the health department. Contact information can be found at coppercountrystrong.com/contact.
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