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Marquette County sees COVID-19 cases increase, though not as rapidly as other UP counties

In looking at cases by county, Dr. Kevin Piggott says many counties with populations lower than that of Marquette County, have higher case totals compared to county population.
COVID-19 in Marquette County.
COVID-19 in Marquette County.(WLUC/CDC)
Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 12:01 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - As with many counties in recent weeks, Marquette County has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases.

As of Oct. 12, Marquette County has 442 cases, 12 deaths, and 292 recoveries. In the last week, the county has added 77 new cases (Tuesday, Oct. 6 through Monday, Oct. 12).

According to Marquette County Health Department Medical Director, Dr. Kevin Piggott, there has been an upward growth in cases in the county since around week 36 of the pandemic, which was the week that ended on Saturday, Sept. 5. So, cases have been increasing since Labor Day weekend.

Piggott attributes some of the case increase to the return of Northern Michigan University students in late August, K-12 students heading back into classrooms, as well as tourism for fall colors into September and October.

Piggott also says the increase in staff cases (not inmate cases) at the Marquette Branch Prison has contributed to Marquette County’s caseload in recent weeks.

“Each of these likely stimulated a surge in transmission of this virus as has our complacency/pandemic fatigue,” he said.

The graphic below shows Marquette County’s cases throughout the pandemic, beginning with Week 12, and ending with Week 41 (which ended Oct. 10. 2020).

Graphic showing weekly COVID-19 cases in Marquette County, Michigan, ending with Week 41, which ended on Oct. 10, 2020.
Graphic showing weekly COVID-19 cases in Marquette County, Michigan, ending with Week 41, which ended on Oct. 10, 2020.(WLUC/MCHD)

“It also needs to be considered that neighboring counties have had even greater accelerated growth in their case numbers,” Dr. Piggott told TV6. “Because there is significant travel between counties, spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is promoted. Our neighboring state, Wisconsin, has also has significant increases in cases.”

The SARS-CoV-2 virus Piggott mentions, is the strain that causes COVID-19 in humans.

Piggott said travel to and from Wisconsin has likely contributed to increased cases throughout Upper Michigan.

“Wisconsin is a large epi-center with the greatest concentration of cases/100,000 adjacent to the border of the U.P.," he noted.

In looking at cases by county, Piggott says many counties with populations lower than that of Marquette County, have higher case totals compared to county populations.

“The counties that surround Marquette County all have greater number of cases/100,000 population than does Marquette County,” Piggott said.

The graphic below shows the case counts, confirmed and probable, in Upper Michigan counties as of Oct. 12, 2020.

Upper Michigan COVID-19 Cases by County as of Oct. 12, 2020. This shows both confirmed and probable cases. TV6 reports only confirmed cases in our running totals.
Upper Michigan COVID-19 Cases by County as of Oct. 12, 2020. This shows both confirmed and probable cases. TV6 reports only confirmed cases in our running totals.(WLUC/MCHD)

As seen in the graph above, Delta, Houghton, and Menominee counties each have case counts higher than Marquette County. Those counties also have lower populations than Marquette County.

County populations for those counties as of 2019:

  • Delta County: 35,784
  • Houghton County: 35,684
  • Menominee County: 22,780
  • Marquette County: 66, 699

Overall, Marquette County’s cases, though increasing, haven’t been increasing as much as other areas of Upper Michigan.

For an ongoing list of confirmed cases, deaths and recoveries in Upper Michigan, click here.

For continuing coronavirus coverage from TV6 & FOX UP, visit uppermichiganssource.com/coronavirus.

Copyright 2020 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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