COVID-19 cases reported in Ashland, Bayfield, Gogebic, and Iron (WI) counties

COVID-19 cases reported in Ashland, Bayfield, Gogebic, and Iron (WI) counties

Updated: April 03, 2020 03:18 PM

Ashland County has seen its first COVID-19 case as more cases are reported in Bayfield and Gogebic counties and Iron County officials defend their handling of a fatal case.


Ashland County Health and Human Services said late Monday that the case is in a person who travelled domestically to a location experiencing community spread. The individual went into self-quarantine and later received care at a hospital before returning home to recover.

Meanwhile, The Bayfield County Health Department reported their third confirmed case of COVID-19 on Tuesday.  It's the second Bayfield County case resulting from community spread.

"The third positive case...reaffirms the presence of COVID-19 in our community and evidence that community spread is occurring," said Sara Wartman, Health Officer for Bayfield County, in a news release.

The health department said that the new patient, who is in their 70s, is currently hospitalized.  The patient had not travelled outside of the area and had no contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19.

“This report highlights the importance of following Governor Ever’s ‘Safer at Home’ order. Bayfield County residents must stay home to disrupt the spread of the virus. This is crucial to reducing the spread and flattening the curve," Wartman said.

Elsewhere, Gogebic County's second COVID-19 case was reported Tuesday by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.  Gogebic and neighboring Iron County, Wisconsin, both reported fatal cases of COVID-19 in their counties last Thursday, March 27.

Ironwood Mayor Annette Burchell issued a statement on Facebook Tuesday asking residents to heed Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay at home order.

"The COVID-19 coronavirus is in our community, has taken a precious life and is spreading. People may be carriers of the virus without symptoms, without knowing they are carriers. Many of our citizens are elderly and the most vulnerable to this pandemic. Our local medical system is already being stressed and our supplies are declining," Burchell wrote.

Burchell urged people to minimize trips outside of the home and to stock up on groceries and supplies when they do go out.

The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department reported that the Gogebic County resident who died was an elderly man who had underlying health conditions.  He had visited an Ironwood church, a Hurley convenience store, the Bad River Casino, and a cancer center in Ashland before passing away.

Iron County officials have not publicly released any information about the victim from their county.  Iron County Public Health issued a statement on Tuesday acknowledging community concerns about the death.

"We can assure you that close contacts from the recent positive case have been notified.  Once notified these contacts are instructed to isolate themselves and track symptoms that may indicate infection," the department said in a statement posted to Facebook.

Iron County Public Health said it is working within state guidelines.

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