According to statistics from the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department, 0 new positive cases of COVID-19 were reported yesterday, Feb. 21. That’s the first day without reported cases since last September 5, when the weather was still warm, people still fraternized outdoors, and before the Omicron variant spread. “It is great news that the number of cases is declining in our state and our region,” Lisa Peacock, health officer for the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department, said in a press release today. “We want to keep this downward trend continuing and prevent another surge. Therefore, it is still critical that anyone who is eligible get vaccinated and receive their booster shot.”

Due to improving conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department announced that the First Amended Order which requires masks to be worn in school settings will be lifted on Thursday, February 17.

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. The school closure is “due to excessive COVID illness or quarantine.” 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.

The Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department reported 51 new COVID-19 cases in Leelanau County on Tuesday, Jan. 4. In Benzie County, 31 new cases were reported. Both represent single-day records. The previous high was set on Nov. 12 when Leelanau recorded 37 and Benzie recorded 29 cases.

You sit down with this wild-bearded, twinkly-eyed man at a table full of colored pencils and ornate coloring sheets that he created. You’re not sure why you’re here, except for feeling nostalgic for simpler times when you were just a worry-free kid. Soon, you’re pouring your heart out to Grandfather Color as you scribble, finding joy and solace through the creativity of color. Grandfather Color, otherwise known as Richard Stocker, is the facilitator behind myriad efforts to heal the world, person by person, by guiding them through their healing process using color. He is also the facilitator of the new “Get Well World” and “Color COVID Away campaigns that are just unrolling across Leelanau, Benzie and Grand Traverse counties.

As Michigan continues to record high numbers of COVID-19 cases, new data from the Michigan Health & Hospital Association proves that the majority of Michigan residents severely sick with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. Data from January 15-November 19 demonstrates that unvaccinated people account for 85.8% of COVID cases, 87% of hospitalizations, and 86.4% of deaths. Leelanau County registered another 31 COVID-positive cases today, following 24 on Wednesday, and 36 on Tuesday. Leelanau has topped 30 positive cases per day three times in the past 10 days.

The Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department recorded three deaths of Leelanau County residents from COVID-19 during Thanksgiving week: one on Wednesday, Nov. 24, and two on Friday, Nov. 26. The Health Department recorded one COVID-associated death in Benzie County on Tuesday, Nov. 23.

The Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department reports three new COVID-19 associated deaths of Leelanau County residents this week—one per day, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (as well as one death in Benzie County on Thursday). All victims were between ages 70-90; one was fully vaccinated. The pandemic has claimed a total of 24 lives in Leelanau and 38 in Benzie.

The Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department recorded 37 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Leelanau County on Friday, Nov. 12, and 29 new cases in Benzie County, for a total of 66. That’s the highest single-day count for both counties since the pandemic began.

Glen Lake School is currently facing its highest COVID-19 positivity rate of the 2021-22 school year. As of Friday, Oct. 29, approximately 10 members of the school, including both students and staff, had tested positive. Those 10, combined with the number of close contacts who are quarantining at home this week, now total in the high-60s, Glen Lake superintendent Mark Mattson confirmed to the Glen Arbor Sun on Friday. That’s approximately 8% of the 835 members of the Glen Lake community—including 718 students and 117 staff members.