UPHS-Marquette reports zero COVID-19 positive patients

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - UP Health System-Marquette, the regional referral center for Upper Michigan, has no COVID-19 positive patients as of late Thursday morning.

(UPHS-Marquette photo)

UPHS, including Bell and Portage, announced Thursday that it will safely resume some time-sensitive, non-urgent surgeries and procedures that were previously rescheduled amid the coronavirus pandemic. The health care system says current projections indicate a lower than expected volume of COVID-19 in the region which means less strain on resources.

UPHS-Marquette CEO Gar Atchison said the hospital received its first transfer on March 29.

"From there it fairly well followed the curve upward until it plateaued, and really over the last several weeks, we've seen that number steadily decline," Atchison said. "In fact, yesterday we discharged one of the most critically-ill patients that we had seen to date who had a very long stay here with us, and that brought our actual COVID positive census to zero currently."

As of early Thursday afternoon, the U.P.'s total count of confirmed COVID-19 cases stands at 98 with 15 deaths. At least 54 people are considered recovered.

Norlite Nursing Center in Marquette has been hit the hardest by the virus in the U.P. as eight residents have died.

The Marquette County Health Department says there were 965 tests for COVID-19 performed last week in Marquette County. However, that can be misinterpreted as that was a substantial increase from the prior week's total of 317. A significant portion of the tests were done at long-term care facilities under a state initiative.

UPHS says its decision to reschedule procedures when clinically appropriate was made in accordance with federal and state guidance and aimed to help preserve critical resources in the event of a surge of COVID-19 patients in the community.

Watch TV6 First Look to see the complete interview with Atchison.

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