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St. Clair County COVID-19 cases trending upward

Over 20 percent of cases tied to gatherings and social events

A virus
A virus (WDIV)

ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Mich. – Over the last two months, the number of COVID-19 cases has been slowly trending upward in St. Clair County.

However, during the last two weeks, the increase has been more substantial with the average number of new cases per day jumping 55 percent, according to the St. Clair County Health Department.

Due to the increase, the county’s health department continues to strongly urge residents to adhere to proven public health prevention practices.

The county was among one of the regions to issue health related orders after a Michigan Supreme Court ruling that stripped the governor of her coronavirus emergency powers.

List: Michigan counties issue emergency coronavirus orders after state Supreme Court ruling

Currently, over 20 percent of cases are tied to gatherings and social events, which suggests that people are gathering and not following public health guidance.

In addition, individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, on average have each had close exposure to five other people.

This is up from an average of two close exposures per person for each new case in August.

At this rate, St. Clair County is on track to pass the number of cases it saw during the last case spike in July, the health department said. If this trend holds, numbers could mirror those seen during the initial surge in April it added.

“We all want our community to be as healthy as possible and to ensure that our schools stay open for in-person learning and businesses can continue operations” stated Dr. Annette Mercatante, Medical Health Officer, St. Clair County Health Department. “As St. Clair County residents and as proud Americans, we know what we have to do to slow the spread of transmission because we did it before. We came together at the beginning of the pandemic and effectively drove down the case counts by wearing masks, maintaining six feet of social distance from others and practicing proper handwashing.”

Additionally, in order to slow the spread it is critically important for individuals contacted by the health department to answer the phone and respond to questions posed by public health nurses working on contact tracing.

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 147,806 as of Monday, including 7,031 deaths, state officials report.

General questions can be directed to the St. Clair County COVID-19 hotline at 810-966-4163 or by email at covid19@stclaircounty.org. COVID-19 information is also available on the health department website.