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By the numbers: COVID-19 cases, testing in Marquette County

The Marquette County Health Department has released some updated data.
Michigan DNR map with WLUC edits in Canva
Michigan DNR map with WLUC edits in Canva(WLUC)
Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 11:22 AM EDT
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NEGAUNEE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - The Marquette County Health Department has released some updated data about COVID-19 cases and testing.

Source: Marquette County Health Department, Aug. 3, 2020
Source: Marquette County Health Department, Aug. 3, 2020(WLUC)

The number of tests last week decreased while the percent positive tests is increasing. Dr. Kevin Piggott, the county’s medical director, says although the 1.5% positive PCR tests is low, the pattern of increasing positivity with decreasing test numbers suggests increasing community spread. However, these are preliminary numbers and due to delayed turnaround, the number of tests performed in week 31 may increase as more results return, possibly resulting in a decrease in the percent positive tests.

Marquette County has had 50 cases (based on the onset of symptoms date) in July which is 40% of its total cases occurring in just one month with 60% in the preceding 4 months. For the U.P., there were 170 new cases from July 18 to July 31 and 27 probable. It wasn’t until June 25 (about 3 and a half months into the Michigan outbreak) that the U.P. reached 170 confirmed cases and now a similar number has occurred in two weeks. Dr. Piggott says this, of course, is concerning.

Source: Marquette County Health Department, Aug. 3, 2020
Source: Marquette County Health Department, Aug. 3, 2020(WLUC)

The average age of cases has declined over time. Also, since this is based on the date of onset of symptoms and not the date it is reported to the health department, there may still be additional people that come to the department’s attention who will be added to July numbers even though we are in August.

The breakdown by age group since the onset of the pandemic for Marquette County is shown in the bar graph below. The average age is 52 but as you can see, the graph is bimodal with the most common ages being 20-29 and 80+ at 21 each.

Source: Marquette County Health Department, Aug. 3, 2020
Source: Marquette County Health Department, Aug. 3, 2020(WLUC)

For the month of July, the most common ages were 20-29 and 40-49 with 12 each. Again, since this is based on symptom onset and not the date it is reported, there may still be additional people that come to the department’s attention who will be added to July numbers even though we are in August.

The latest state data shows there are four COVID-19 patients at UP Health System.

As of Tuesday morning, Marquette County has reported a total of 127 lab-confirmed cases during the outbreak with 11 additional probable cases. Eleven people have died and 68 are considered recovered.

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