Rising COVID cases prompt Glen Lake to close until Jan. 18

From staff reports

Glen Lake Community Schools reported on Facebook this evening that it will close Thursday, Jan. 13, and Friday, Jan. 14, due to staffing shortages and sickness. All middle school and junior varsity activities are canceled. The status of sporting events has been made. Schools are also closed Monday, Jan. 17, for the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Glen Lake plans to reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

A post by the administrator of the Glen Lake School Parent Awareness Group reported that the school closure is “due to excessive Covid illness or quarantine.”

The Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department recently reported the first confirmed case of the highly contagious Omicron variant in a Leelanau County resident who was tested on Dec. 8. The positivity rate for COVID tests in Leelanau County remains at an astronomical 20.4%. The Health Department reported 35 COVID-positive cases on Tuesday, Jan. 11. Daily case counts have exceeded 20 cases six times since Jan. 1.

In a press release issued today, the Health Department reported that, due to significant case increases as the COVID-19 Omicron variant spreads in Michigan and locally, combined with waning public participation in contact tracing and case investigation, the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department pandemic response will begin shifting away from universal contact tracing and case investigations to focus on high priority community groups and those in congregate settings.

“With more than 10,000 new COVID-19 case referrals per day being reported across Michigan and averaging over 50 new cases per day in our two-county jurisdiction, and the Omicron variant surge expected to continue, individual level case investigation and contact tracing are no longer as effective tools with respect to controlling COVID-19 transmission on a population level,” said Lisa Peacock, Health Officer with the Health Department.

“We will continue to monitor and provide outbreak investigation and infection prevention support for long term care facilities, shelters, schools and other congregate-like settings as well as public health awareness and education campaigns that tell people what their test results mean and how they can move forward in a way that limits spread of infection to their friends and families as well as monitor and provide outbreak investigation and infection prevention support for long-term care facilities, shelters, schools and other congregate-like settings,” Peacock added.