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A Message from LMAS District Health Department

We are writing to you to provide information about COVID and the Delta Variant. We want you to understand the current situation in our region, and are asking you to consider protecting yourself, your family, and your community by doing these small things:

-masking,

-maintaining distance,

-staying home when sick,

-getting tested for COVID if you’re symptomatic or had a known exposure.

You need to know that the Delta variant is in our communities, and case numbers are rising. The state has informed us that 99% of all tests being sequenced are coming back as Delta.

This variant is twice as transmissible and creates a large viral load. Vaccines are still doing well to prevent serious illness and hospitalization, but even those fully vaccinated should use caution in crowded spaces.

To give a little perspective: Last year at this time, many were masking, maintaining distance, washing hands, and staying home when sick. From March 1 to late August, 2020, there were a total of 66 COVID cases in Luce, Mackinac, Alger, and Schoolcraft counties.

This year from August 1 to August 30, there have already been 221 cases in the LMAS District. June and July were relatively quiet in the district with zero or single digit increases most days.

Why the increase?

Three reasons. First, the Delta variant.

Second, very few are following basic public health risk reduction measures of masking, maintaining distance from those not in the same household, washing hands, and staying home when sick.

Finally, only 55 percent of the 12-and-older population is fully vaccinated in our four counties. As Delta takes a foothold here, the outcome could be devastating for individuals, families, communities, and hospitals.

You are important to us and we want to make sure that you remain safe and well.