Coronavirus cases linked to Michigan sandbar, Fourth of July party

Michigan health officials have warned the public of possible coronavirus exposure after a Fourth of July party at a northwest sandbar resulted in several positive cases.

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan was notified of several individuals testing positive for COVID-19 after attending Torch Lake sandbar in Rapid City over the holiday.

Those testing positive were not able to offer identifying information for all potential contacts, officials said, expecting additional cases in the near future.

The health department advised anyone who attended the party to monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and seek testing if symptoms develop. Those in close proximity with others were at high risk of exposure, as well as those who didn’t wear face masks.

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“This situation reminds us of how important it is to take precautions such as avoiding large gatherings whenever possible especially without social distancing and masking,” said Lisa Peacock, health officer, in a news release. “Unfortunately, this is not an isolated event and leaves our community at risk when close contacts are not able to be identified and alerted to quarantine.”

“We can’t stress enough how it is imperative that we each do our part to stay safe and stay open,” she said.

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Last week, Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer warned that her state may “dial back” its coronavirus reopening if the contagion’s resurgence continues.

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She said she didn’t want to see the state’s recovery lose ground after the devastating economic impact that coronavirus-related shutdowns had on businesses and municipalities.

Michigan has seen more than 69,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and at least 6,068 deaths attributed to the illness, according to state authorities. More than 22,000 of those cases and over 2,600 deaths happened in Wayne County, which includes Detroit.

Fox New’s Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.