The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department’s most recent COVID-19 report shows a massive spike in cases form the past week, reaching to more than twice as many cases as the previous report. On January 5th, the region recorded 279 cases. And in the Health Department’s most recent report from this past Wednesday, the region added 683 new cases of the corona virus. There were 3 new deaths this past week as well. The percent of fully vaccinated individuals in the region still hovers just above 56%. Baraga County has had the lowest vaccination rate throughout the pandemic.

This most recent spike for the western U.P. is concerning as the Omicron variant seems to be moving quickly through a devastated healthcare system in the state. Many hospitals have had an influx of people seeking medical attention. And because of staff shortages, burnt out nurses, and a lack of proper equipment to cover all their patients, this spike is quite concerning for the state of public health in the region.

Houghton and Keweenaw counties are the only ones to not reach the 1000 plus per 100,000 thresholds. Houghton County recorded 875.6 persons per 100,000. And Keweenaw County had a much lower case rate than all others, with 182 new cases per 100,000. The total number of cases in the western U.P. is now 11,597. And the region has recorded 227 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

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