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Health experts, businesses monitoring COVID-19 spread

Even though the virus isn't going away anytime soon, health experts say it's not time to cancel...
Even though the virus isn't going away anytime soon, health experts say it's not time to cancel travel plans.(wluc)
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 7:03 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - As the summer approaches restaurants are preparing for more visitors. In Marquette, Iron Bay’s restaurant manager says he is paying close attention to how his staff is feeling.

“It puts us into an extra state of alertness and where we start to watch staff a little more closely,” Andrew Hillary Iron Bay Restaurant & Drinkery manager said. “We ask staff to be a little more honest about how they are feeling, we just play it a little safer than probably would have in years past.”

Health experts in the U.P. are paying close attention too as COVID continues to spread across Upper Michigan.

“I think the Omicron variant has a lot to do with it plus people are re-infected sometimes one or two times,” Jerry Messana Marquette County Health Department Health office said.

Public health departments are preparing for tourists to spread the virus further.

“When we first have the covid pandemic hit the U.P. it was mostly tourists who brought it into the region, so it’s not unlikely that we will have an influx of the virus when people come to visit,” Robert Van Howe Western U.P. Health Department provisional medical director said.

With more people using at-home tests, it means COVID-19 case data could be lower than reality.

“I think a lot of home tests are unreported. As matter of fact, probably most of them are unreported,” Messana said. “There is really no way to tell but they are predicting there are probably 6 to 8-fold more positive cases than what’s being reported because of the unreported home testing.”

Even though the virus isn’t going away anytime soon, health experts say it’s not time to cancel travel plans.

“I wouldn’t avoid travel but use a little common sense. Make sure you are fully vaccinated and up to date on your vaccinations and that you plan outdoor activities versus indoor activities,” Messana said.

At Iron Bay, capacity remains lower than it was before COVID.

“As far as what we expect from guests nothing super new yet, we haven’t added back all of our tables from when we shut down in the first place,” Hillary said.

Remember, if you plan to visit a high-risk area for your vacation, health experts suggest you wear a mask indoors to avoid transmission.

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