Over Fourth of July weekend hundreds of revelers partied at a Michigan lake sandbar, but some attendees have since tested positive for COVID-19.
Health officials announced Friday that several people have tested positive after joining in on the festivities at the Torch Lake sandbar in Milton Township, and now attendees are being told to monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days.
Those who tested positive for COVID-19 were not able to identify other people they had been in contact with at the party, making contact tracing impossible.
Shocking photographs of the carefree festivities show hordes of people packed on the sand ignoring social distancing orders and hundreds of boats crowding around the sandbar.
Hundreds of revelers partied the day away on the Fourth of July at the Torch Beach sandbar in Milton Township, Michigan, where they packed onto the sand and crowded in their boats, ignoring orders to social distance
An aerial view of the party was released by Michigan State Police showing hundreds of people and boats swarming the tiny sandbar for the Fourth of July fun. Those who tested positive for COVID-19 were not able to identify other people they had been in contact with at the party, making contact tracing impossible
‘Therefore we want to make the public aware that those who attended could be at risk for exposure, and additional cases could be seen in the coming days,’ the Health Department of Northwest Michigan said Friday.
The Torch Lake sandbar has now been listed as a possible coronavirus exposure site.
‘If you were at the Torch Lake Sandbar party over 4th of July weekend, you should monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and seek testing if symptoms should develop or if you were at high risk for exposure due to being in close proximity with others or not wearing a cloth facial covering,’ officials said.
Michigan has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent days.
On Saturday the state reported 653 new COVID-19 cases – the highest one-day total in the state since May.
Overall Michigan has 76,776 infections of COVID-19 and 6,314 deaths as of Sunday.
Michigan has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent days. On Saturday the state reported 653 new COVID-19 cases – the highest one-day total in the state since May. This chart shows the number of daily confirmed cases that peaked in May and is rising in July after a slump in June
This chart shows the confirmed and probably number of COVID-19 related deaths in Michigan which peaked in April and has steadily decreased into July
This map shows Michigan’s COVID-19 hospitalization rates as of Friday July 10, showing how the number of hospitalizations went down but rose again in late June
This heat map of Michigan shows where the serious outbreaks of COVID-19 are. The red regions, covering Grand Rapids and Lansing, denote High Risk areas. Yellow areas mark Medium Risk areas and dark yellow marks Medium to High Risk Areas
In response to a rise in infections Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered that all face coverings should be worn in all indoor public spaces and some outdoor spaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on July 10.
Businesses will be required to refuse entry or service to those who don’t comply with requirements.
The Northern Michigan Police Department reported seeing a 26 percent increase in police call volume compared to the past decade on the holiday due to the Torch Lake Fest.
That department said they made three drunk and disorderly arrests and three operating while intoxicated arrests. Another person was arrested for resisting and obstructing police which led to a deputy being injured.
On Friday Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order mandating face masks be used in public outdoor spaces and indoors following surge in cases in the state
Overall the Antrim County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol made 579 contact and issued 100 warnings.
Other local sheriff’s offices and police forces were on site to help keep the peace at the event.
On Thursday Gov. Whitmer called out another large sandbar party in Diamond Lake in Cass County after video emerged showing hundreds of people packed together singing and dancing in close proximity, ignoring all social distancing orders.
The country has seen a concerning surge in coronavirus cases in several states including Arizona, Florida and California.
Nationally there are over 3.3million cases of the deadly virus and it has claimed over 135,000 lives.