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Time to stop playing politics with COVID-19

The Upper Peninsula has seen a massive uptick in COVID-19 cases over the past three months. Back on July 8, the U.P. had 219 reported cases. As of Wednesday morning, that number has reached 2,939 cases. And this trend seems to be continuing its upward trajectory.

Michigan’s seven-day average of daily new cases, 1,008, has increased by more than 200 over two weeks and has not been higher since April, according to Johns Hopkins University. Though there is much more testing now than in the spring, the seven-day positivity rate also has risen — from 2.7% to 3.1% in two weeks, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

More than 7,100 Michigan residents have died with confirmed or probable COVID-19 infections.

Robert Gordon, director of the Department of Health and Human Services, he issued additional orders reinstituting restrictions negated by a state Supreme Court ruling.

Gordon said such restrictions cannot be voluntary. He said to expect additional orders soon.

“Orders matter. The law matters. They set common expectations, and they help everyone know what they need to do,” he said. “The science behind what we are doing is 100% clear. Masks reduce the spread of COVID. Social distancing reduces the spread of COVID.”

Gordon said people may support or oppose Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and his orders.

“For their sake, for their loved ones and for all of us, please wear a mask, socially distance, wash your hands,” he said. “The virus doesn’t care about the politics. The virus is on the move.”

We support Gordon’s decision, and want to remind U.P. residents that our hospitals cannot bare the burden of full-on outbreak. This is not a partisan issue — the virus is killing people on both sides of the aisle. We must do our part to curb the spread of this virus for the sake of our fellow Yoopers.

Just because life in quarantine seems monotonous and many of us have become “bored” with it, does not mean the virus has disappeared. It’s here, and it will continue to get worse unless we take responsible actions to keep our community safe.

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