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The state health department on Friday reported 7,505 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 118 COVID-19-related deaths in Michigan since Wednesday's report.

That is an average of about 3,752 new cases each of the past two days.

The state's pandemic total number of confirmed cases is now 1,104,634, with 21,862 deaths.

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health on Friday reported 308 new cases of the virus and two deaths since Wednesday. The county is averaging 112 new cases each day for the past seven days, up a tick from the seven-day average of 111 reported Wednesday.

Ottawa County's pandemic total number of cases is now 40,877, with nearly 37,000 recovered and 493 deaths.

The level of community transmission in Ottawa County remains "high."

Muskegon County's pandemic total number of confirmed cases, as of Friday, is 20,986, with 416 deaths related to COVID-19, according to the state health department.

County official quits over 'politicization' of public health

ST. JOSEPH (AP) — A county health officer frustrated with the "politicization of public health" during COVID-19 is quitting her job in southwestern Michigan.

Courtney Davis has been the interim health officer in Berrien County since July when she was promoted from deputy. Communications manager Gillian Conrad is also resigning, The Herald-Palladium reported.

Davis ordered masks in local schools to reduce the spread of COVID-19, though the order was dropped Sept. 29 when the health department believed its state funding would be in jeopardy. She said at the time that it was "appalling" that money was tied to mask policies.

Davis said it's been an honor to work for the department for nearly five years.

"However, with the politicization of public health during the pandemic, I can no longer effectively do my job and serve the community with its health and safety always at the forefront," she said.

Davis' last day is Nov. 3.

In stepping down, Conrad said the pandemic had taken a "significant toll" on her mental and physical health.

Berrien County Administrator Brian Dissette said there has been only one applicant for the job of permanent health officer, a role that Davis was serving on an interim basis. He said he informed the state health department about the vacancies to try to add more "horsepower" to the search.

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