The seven counties in Michigan with the most new COVID-19 cases per population over the last three weeks are all located in the Upper Peninsula, a rural region that’s become the new focal point in the state’s battle against the virus.

The Upper Peninsula has about 3% of the state’s population, but over the last three weeks, it’s been home to about 10% of the state’s newly confirmed coronavirus cases, according to a Detroit News analysis.

“We’ve got a lot of cases, and they keep going up,” said Dr. Robert Van Howe, who serves as the interim medical director for the Western U.P. Health Department.

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Michigan Technological University (Photo: John L. Russell / Special to The Detroit News)

Over the three last weeks,

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