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First positive case of COVID-19 identified in Marquette County

MARQUETTE — The Marquette County Health Department has announced the first confirmed positive COVID-19 case in Marquette County.

The Marquette County Health Department was made aware of the positive case Tuesday. It was identified through commercial laboratory testing, a press release from the health department states.

The identified person is an adult male with a history of recent domestic travel through commercial airports. The individual has been in home isolation in accordance with current guidelines. The health department will notify people who have been identified as close contacts. They will be assessed for symptoms and monitored appropriately, officials said.

“This individual’s exposure was fairly limited to the community because he did follow all self-isolation, self-quarantine guidance from the state and federal government as soon as he became symptomatic. So very limited,” said Patrick Jacuzzo, director of environmental health and public information officer for the Marquette County Health Department. “The Marquette County Health Department — as far as contact tracing — we will contact any individual that’s indicated or implicated for contact tracing. If you’re not contacted by the health department, then you don’t have a specific disease transfer risk.”

Jacuzzo could not comment on exactly where the individual was tested for the virus, but said: “Due to the stress nationally on the medical system, it’s important for physicians to follow the federal and state guidelines on who should be tested, so that those testing supplies are used for the most critical care situations.”

In a previous interview with The Mining Journal, Marquette County Medical Director Dr. Kevin Piggott said individuals in Marquette County were actively being tested.

However, the number of people being tested or awaiting results cannot be determined at this time, Jacuzzo said.

“That number is really not available,” he said. “Due to some of the intricacies and the way some of these labs are trying to function together with the advent of the private lab testing and that kind of thing, there’s not really a good tracking mechanism or reporting mechanism for the number of pending tests.”

The health department urges the community to continue to be cooperative with recommendations to keep themselves and others safe. This includes following the “Stay Safe, Stay Home” order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that became effective Tuesday, as well as social distancing.

“As far as the community, we recommend everyone follow all social distancing and personal hygiene recommendations and to remain at home if at all possible in accordance with the governor’s executive order,” Jacuzzo said.

People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to safely recover at home, officials said. If symptoms worsen, individuals are told to call a medical care provider prior to their visit.

COVID-19 symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.

Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

To prevent the spread of the virus people should wash their hands properly, avoid close contact with sick people and disinfect commonly touched surfaces.

For more information, visit www.mqthealth.org, www.michigan.gov/coronavirus or www.cdc.gov/COVID19.

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