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ALPENA, Mich. –The local health department just announced a change in the way they track COVID transmission.

With the highly–contagious omicron variant driving infections statewide, officials say providing individual contact tracing is no longer as effective for controlling the spread. Instead, epidemiologist Devin Spiney says the department will focus on tracking outbreaks in high–priority groups and large gatherings. In other words, they’re looking to prevent outbreaks in schools, long–term care facilities, and shelters, where the virus has plenty of potential hosts.