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More than a dozen test positive for COVID after Mackinac Policy Conference

Deb Nystrom

More than a dozen people, including a member of President Joe Biden’s cabinet, have tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a political conference in northern Michigan last week.

Politicians, journalists, and lobbyists returned Friday from the annual Mackinac Policy Conference, which is hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber.

According to an update from the chamber on Monday, at least 15 attendees have since tested positive for COVID.

They include U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Buttigieg disclosed his infection on Twitter, saying he had mild symptoms.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer so far has tested negative.

Mackinac Island's wastewater tested "fairly high" for evidence of COVID-19 just before Memorial Day, according to a spokesperson for the local health department.

The more-than 1,300 conference participants were required to be vaccinated or submit proof of a negative coronavirus PCR test for indoor events.

Masks were not required and the chamber says those who’ve tested positive so far are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.

Data show vaccines reduce the risk of getting the virus and of contracting severe symptoms.

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