Benzie-Leelanau Health Department reports daily record 34 COVID cases

From staff reports

The Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department has reported a daily record 34 new cases (Benzie- 18; Leelanau- 16) of COVID-19 for Wednesday, Nov. 18. The Health Department was notified today of a COVID-19 associated death of a Benzie County resident.

Active COVID-19 cases (142 in Leelanau County; 125 in Benzie County) now top the number of recovered cases (134 in Leelanau; 99 in Benzie) — a sign of the pandemic’s rapid community spread. The State of Michigan has reported 277,806 cases and 8,190 deaths. According to Bridge, Michigan has the sixth highest number of COVID-19 cases in the nation, and the fifth highest number of deaths.

On Sunday, November 15, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon signed an emergency order effective today that enacts a three-week pause targeting indoor social gatherings and other group activities in an effort to curb rapidly rising COVID-19 infection rates. Although there were some changes to what remains open, many residents have had questions about what this order means as we head into the holidays. MDHHS has created a frequently asked questions page to answer many of the questions we have also been receiving regarding the latest orders.

“It is normal to feel distressed about this as the virus begins to touch each of us in different ways. For months many of us were able to say that we didn’t know anyone who had COVID but now that is very different,” stated Lisa Peacock, Health Officer. “This three-week pause will not be easy for our residents, but we hope it will curb the current upward trends of COVID. We hope everyone can choose safer ways to celebrate with their family and friends, so we can get through this wave.”