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Emmet County resident is third COVID-19 death in northern Michigan

Linda Stephan
Interlochen Public Radio


An Emmet County resident has died from health issues related to COVID-19, McLaren Northern Michigan announced Tuesday evening.

He’s the third death in northern Michigan, following the deaths of Missaukee and Kalkaska residents, who were hospitalized at Munson Healthcare facilities.

The Emmet County resident was an older male who was hospitalized at McLaren Northern Michigan. 

“It is an unimaginable day for this patient’s family and for our community,” Todd Burch, the Chief Executive Officer of McLaren Northern Michigan, said in a statement. “Our employees and medical staff grieve with them.”

Lisa Peacock, Health Officer at the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, said in a press release the news is a “tragic reminder of how serious and close COVID-19 is” to the northern Michigan community.

McLaren Northern Michigan announced earlier today that it is now preparing to expand bed capacity and isolation units in the event more residents are hospitalized. Tomorrow, Emmet County is opening the first drive through screening station in the area at the fairgrounds for people with a doctor’s order to get tested.

The health department says in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 people should continue to practice social distancing. Officials also recommend residents:

  • only leave home for essential needs and as infrequently as possible

  • stay at least 6 feet away and avoid gatherings, if they must go out

  • wash their hands frequently for at least twenty seconds

  • avoid touching their faces

  • disinfect commonly touched surfaces,

  • call loved ones and neighbors who are most at risk to see how they are doing and if they need help

McLaren Northern Michigan says those with questions can call the McLaren Northern Michigan hotline at 231-487-5550, but if their symptoms are life threatening, they should call 911.

Taylor Wizner covers heath, tourism and other news for Interlochen Public Radio.