UP Health Department: Organizers of High Risk COVID-19 Exposure Event Not Cooperating

An Upper Peninsula health department isn’t getting any answers from event organizers where at least one person tested positive for COVID-19. 10 12 2020 Difficult Contact Tracing Pkg 6

They estimate about 50 men from across the state attended the retreat in Pickford.

“There were a lot of people there, in a very small space,” said LMAS District Health Department public information officer Kerry Ott.

They have named the October 1-4 men’s retreat a high risk COVID-19 exposure site.

“It is our understanding that the people who attended the event were not just from this region,” Ott said.

She says the event was organized by Keryx Michigan, a prison ministry group.

“The event coordinators were contacted, they refused to cooperate, they refused to give us any information about who was in attendance,” Ott said.

The health department wants to make it very clear the Pickford United Methodist Church only rented their facility to the group, is doing everything right and cooperating in their investigation. The church has even taken it a step further by suspending in person services for 2 weeks.

“We are worried about them not realizing they might of been exposed or they were exposed to a person who has tested positive,” Ott said.

9&10 News called the statewide contact on the Keryx website.

He told me they didn’t have anything to share, wasn’t fully aware of what we were talking about, and wasn’t sure who to contact that would.

“We are just asking people to help us, we can’t do this alone, we need people to follow those small things we’re asking them to do,” Ott said.

It has been a busy and sometimes stressful few months for the department.

Just before this, Ott received a phone call from an angry citizen.

“Ultimately before they hung up said that I work for Satan, and no, I work for the public health department,” Ott said. “But we press on because it’s what we do. Protecting the health of our residents and visitors is our highest priority.”


Categories: Coronavirus