Upper Peninsula reopens for business... mostly

May 22, 2020

MARQUETTE, MI--   Retailers, restaurants and bars in the Upper Peninsula and parts of northern Lower Michigan are reopening Friday.

That’s due in large part to the region’s low COVID-19 infection rate.

Doctor Kevin Piggott is medical director of the Marquette County Health Department. He says the U.P. was weeks behind the first case reported in the Detroit area.

“So already there was a few weeks’ delay, and in the meantime the state was already initiating the physical distancing and then the stay-at-home orders. And I think that certainly reduced the likelihood of transmission.”   

Piggot says staying safe while businesses reopen will depend on having a robust testing program in place, which might run into some problems.

“We’ve had shortages in the nasal swabs, shortages in the viral transport medium, shortages in the reagents for the hospital and other facilities’ labs to perform the tests.”

Piggott says businesses and residents will need to continue social distancing measures to stay safe, especially now that the summer tourism season is approaching.