HANCOCK, Mich. (WJMN) – The COVID-19 Omicron variant has been detected in a Western Upper Peninsula case, the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department said Saturday. The announcement came as area cases have continued to surge.

“It is important to know that not all COVID tests are sequenced,” Kate Beer, WUPHD health officer, said. “With the rapid rise in case counts over the last few days, we can be certain that there are additional cases.”

The WUPHD has posted 396 new COVID-19 cases over the past two days; 38 in Baraga County, 68 in Gogebic County, 260 in Houghton County, 10 in Keweenaw County, and 20 in Ontonagon County. Case counts do not include the numerous positive home tests taken by residents that are not reported.

“We encourage residents to take precautions by staying home if you are not feeling well, masking in public or crowded spaces, follow quarantine guidelines and get vaccinated or your booster dose,” Beer said. “Vaccinations continue to be our best defense to reduce the severity of symptoms, prevent hospitalizations, and death.”

Primary vaccinations are currently open to anyone 5 and older. Boosters are available to those 12 and older. Vaccinations can be scheduled by calling a local health department office, physician’s office, pharmacies, or by visiting www.coppercountrystrong.com/vaccine.

Various testing sites are available throughout the district. Visit www.wuphd.org for more information or
call 211.