Leelanau News and Events

After the 4th: Leelanau County's COVID-19 Update

By Emily Tyra | July 9, 2020

Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department (BLDHD) investigated a new cluster of positive COVID-19 cases in Leelanau County after the 4th of July weekend that includes several young adults who had attended gatherings that included visitors from out of state.

The recent local cases include staff of local businesses, which has resulted in some temporary closures during their busiest time due to the staffing shortages created by exposures. Says BLDHD health officer Lisa Peacock, “This can have a major impact on employers when they lose their workforce due to isolation and quarantine requirements.”

Case investigation has been completed for these new positive cases and approximately 90 close contacts have been identified so far. The following information was reported by the BLDHD on July 7, as a result of investigations for the new cases over the past week. (This applies to cases that have been reported with a residence in BLDHD’s jurisdiction.)

• 12 cases in the last week, 11 Leelanau and 1 Benzie. 9 are symptomatic.

• These cases have resulted in over 90 close contacts. 10 had some link to travel out of state — either traveled themselves or had visitors from another state that were diagnosed after returning home.

• The health department staff is in the process of contact tracing with these individuals to instruct in quarantine requirements.

• Anyone who visited the Leland Lodge on 6/28 or 6/29 from 4pm to 10pm and the Leland Country Club on June 29, 10am to 3pm; June 30, 10:30am to 2:30pm or July 2, 10:30am to 2:30pm should self-monitor for symptoms and seek testing should they develop.

• Leelanau County’s reduction by one positive case on July 7 was due to a summer resident who left the area for their primary residence — thus their case was transferred.

Peacock shares with the Leelanau Ticker that of the recent positive COVID-19 cases in Leelanau County among young adults, “most were symptomatic but in general it seems that roughly 20 percent of people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic and we have seen almost half of all of our recent cases that have been asymptomatic.” 

She adds, “The risk is everywhere in the community. The risk of significant exposure is within 6 feet of a positive case for 10 minutes or more, so employees that work in close proximity for extended periods of time are certainly at higher risk for exposure at work, and we are also seeing cases linked to many different types of gatherings. We also find that many people who work together are friends outside of work and exposure may occur when they are gathering in other ways as well.”

Peacock says that in Leelanau County, they are seeing many cases related to “larger numbers of close contacts.”

She adds, “Once a positive case is identified, it is not just that person who is affected by the diagnosis of COVID but all of their close contacts who have to quarantine for 14 days. We understand that residents are growing weary, but we need to take these precautions in order to not take steps backwards. It is important for our communities to work together to stay in Phase 5 and it requires each of us to do our part.”

BLDHDmedical director Dr. Josh Meyerson shared, “If you must go out in public, try to maintain six feet of distance and be outdoors as much as possible. If you are in a public place and you can’t maintain that distance, wear a mask to protect yourself and those around you.”

As of 6pm July 8, the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department is reporting:

• Positive COVID-19 cases: Benzie – 9, Leelanau – 28 (an increase of 2 cases since July 7)

• Recovered COVID-19 cases: Benzie – 4, Leelanau – 12.

• Confirmed COVID-19 deaths: Benzie – 0, Leelanau – 0.

Visit the BLDHD’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard  for the latest local information including recovered data and cases by age range.

Photo: Glen Carrie

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