Local health officials racing to provide COVID-19 vaccinations

Linda Gallagher

REGION — As COVID-19 cases continued to appear in Antrim and Kalkaska Counties even further last week, closing the Bellaire school district just two days after it re-opened from Christmas vacation, and causing the region's largest senior care facility to declare an "outbreak" the following day, officials in the area raced to get the vaccine into the arms of those most in need. 

On Wednesday, Jan. 6, just two days after the school district re-opened to students after the Christmas holidays, Bellaire Public Schools Superintendent Mark Brenton closed the district to face-to-face learning at 1 p.m., stating that he was making the move out of an abundance of caution after two people within the system had tested positive, exposing "numerous" others within the buildings to the virus. Several entire families within the district are also suffering from the virus. 

If possible, students are receiving virtual instruction. The school district hopes to re-open on Jan. 18.

Just a day later, Antrim County's Meadow Brook Medical Care Facility declared that the senior care facility was in "outbreak" status, with 16 residents testing positive, one of whom had passed away earlier that day. One of the ill residents had been sent to the hospital, but the other 14 were said to be recovering. Also ill at the facility as of Jan. 7 were five personnel, all of whom were said to be recovering at home. 

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