Chippewa County is reporting its very first COVID-19-related deaths.
A news release issued today by the Chippewa County Health Department (CCHD) describes the individuals as "an older male and an older female."
No additional information surrounding these deaths will be released out of respect for the families, the health department states.
"CCHD cannot stress enough the virus is here and, as we have seen, cases have grown exponentially," the release says. "We continue to ask the community to wear a face covering over your mouth and nose, avoid gatherings with anyone outside your home, stay home when you are not well, to reduce the chance of more illness and death."
Earlier today, War Memorial Hospital President and CEO David Jahn made a public radio plea on WSOO1230 following a spike of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county.
“Even if you don’t believe in the COVID virus, and you don’t think you’re going to get sick from it or you’re going to die from it, understand that by the resources the COVID patients are taking up in every hospital in state and the country, you could be in a situation where that hospital doesn’t have the resources to treat your other serious illness, because they’re so busy treating the COVID patients,” he said.
In a separate news release issued in conjunction with the LMAS District Health Department (Luce, Mackinac, Alger, and Schoolcraft), the CCHD is urging area residents to limit gatherings to just those within the household.
This restriction is especially important as hunting season approaches as well as Thanksgiving and other holidays.
"This may be the most difficult thing we have asked you to do, but we need you to limit your gatherings – whether it’s deer camp or Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve or a game night – to just those in your immediate household," the health department states in the release. "We do understand the importance of these events and the coming together for tradition and enjoying time with loved ones, but we need you to get creative and find other ways to hold on to these traditions without risking spreading or getting COVID-19."