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Community Report April 16, 2021

Today, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) extended its Gatherings and Mask epidemic order. The Order – which preserves the strongest public health order in the Midwest – is designed to balance day-to-day activities while controlling the spread of COVID-19 and saving Michiganders’ lives. The order expands mask requirement to children ages 2-4 as recommended by American Academy of Pediatrics.

Even with vaccinations being administered at a rapid rate in Grand Traverse County, cases continue to remain high in the county and region. As of April 16, the 7-day average of new cases was at 49 per day, slightly down from last week. The 7-day average for percent positivity dropped from 15.8. to 14.9% this week. Both metrics are heading in the right direction, but it is too soon to tell if the wave has peaked. To see direct data, visit our dashboard.

341 ↑0563014.9%↓ 432 ↑E
*arrows reflect an increase or decrease from the previous report 

Some local trends of note currently are:
● Currently there are 1205 active COVID-19 cases in the county, the highest ever
● 4349 of the county’s 5630 cases have recovered; 76 cumulative deaths
● The 0-39 age group accounts for 62% of all cases; 90% of the cases in the last month have been in those less than 50 years of age; this shift reflects the success of vaccination in the 50+ groups;
● 33% in April are linked to travel or social gatherings
● 94% of the cases were symptomatic; Cases have often reported mild symptoms and continuing to work, socialize or go to school before getting tested.
● If you have cold-like, allergy-like or sinus-like symptoms, please get tested.
● Variants have been detected in Grand Traverse County and the Traverse City region at an increasing rate.
● Due to increasing cases and a growing number of variant cases in Michigan effective April 5th, 2021 a standard 14-day quarantine for all close contacts of COVID-19 cases has been reinstated.

*arrows reflect an increase or decrease from the previous report
Statistics are available on the MI Safe Start Map and on the Health Department’s dashboard and Facebook page, which updates new case information daily at 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.

It is now even more important that EVERYONE continue to do what works to slow the spread of the virus by wearing their masks properly, socially distancing, avoiding crowds, washing their hands often and making a plan to get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine you can. We all have a personal responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 and end this pandemic.


Overall Grand Traverse County and the Traverse City region continues to do very well overall with vaccination of everyone eligible (anyone 16+). Our current total cumulative coverage is 54.4% for initial dose and 41% for completed doses. Vaccination coverage rates for GT County residents by age group based off the MDHHS COVID 19 Vaccination Coverage Dashboard.
*percentages include all providers, including Munson, local pharmacies and providers


CUMULATIVE (through 4/16/21)
Initiated 108719,516
Completed 1447156,480

To find the latest statistics regarding COVID-19 vaccinations across the state, you can visit the MDHHS vaccine dashboard.
Pause in use of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
● On April 13, the FDA and CDC recommended that providers pause administering the Johnson and Johnson vaccine while they further investigate a rare potential side effect associated with the vaccine.
● 6.8 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine have been administered in the US as of April 12 th . Six cases of a rare but serious form of blood clot, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, was found in combination with thrombocytopenia (low platelet counts).
● While blood clots appear to be extremely rare in those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and a direct link has not yet been proven, it is always important to take a look at any reactions and side effects on an ongoing basis.
○ The risk of COVID-19, including severe COVID-19 and affiliated morbidities, still appears to be far greater than this rare reaction.
○ All six cases were in women between the ages of 18 and 48 years.
○ Symptoms occurred about two weeks after vaccination (six to 13 days).
○ This type of blood clot is rare, and the treatment is different from typical treatment for blood clots. This is why the FDA and CDC are asking to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
● Currently the CDC and ACIP are evaluating the data and will make further recommendations
● If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the past three weeks:
○ Monitor for a severe headache, abdominal or leg pain, or shortness of breath.
○ If you experience these symptoms, contact your doctor to discuss your symptoms out of an abundance of caution.
● If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than three weeks ago:
○ The risk of this already extremely rare condition is low.
○ However, you should always talk with a doctor if you have any symptoms of a blood clot. Blood clots can be caused by a number of factors.
● The pause does not apply to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Health experts still encourage you to schedule an appointment and get a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine as soon as an appointment is available to you, as they remain one of the best ways to end the pandemic and prevent severe COVID-19.
○ There have been no reports of this adverse reaction identified in people who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
○ The vaccines were proven safe and effective in clinical trials and by the millions of people who have already received these vaccines.
To put this in context:
● 1 in every 10 Americans has contracted covid
● 1 in 558 have died of Covid
● 1 in 1 million chance of blood clot from JJ vaccine.

While Northwest Michigan College’s Hagerty Center continues to serve as the primary vaccination clinic site in Grand Traverse County, several community vaccination clinics are also being scheduled in more rural parts of the county. Today, April 16th, was the first community clinic in Fife Lake. Tuesday April 20th will be the next community clinic in Green Lake Township. Future clinics will be promoted through the media when scheduled.School based clinics for the 16-18 year old population are also being planned and scheduled in partnership with Grand Traverse County schools.
ANYONE 16 AND OLDER is now available to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Get in the queue and ‘Save Your Spot’ today! To get in the queue, visit: to fill out the
scheduling survey.

With more and more providers in our area offering the COVID-19 vaccine, we understand that some that have previously signed up at, may have received a vaccine elsewhere. If you were previously signed up, you now have the option to ‘Remove Your Spot’ which helps GTCHD for planning and scheduling for those in the queue..

The Pfizer vaccine has demonstrated 91.3% efficacy 6 months after vaccination day. AND it has demonstrated efficacy against the B1.351 (first identified in South Africa) variant. MDHHS reports that the variant B.1.1.7 (first identified in Britain) also has little to no impact on vaccine acquired immunity. This is a bright spot in the face of our rising case counts.

Voluntary, free, rapid (antigen) COVID-19 testing is now available at Cherry Capital Airport for incoming travelers.Testing group will require proof of passenger travel on the day of testing (boarding pass or itinerary schedule). There is an approximate 30 minute timeline from registration to result. The registration and collection process takes 15 minutes, with results being emailed/texted to patients approximately 15 minutes after sample collection.
Below is their initial schedule, subject to change as flights activities shift heading into summer:
Sunday – 3:00pm to 11:00pm
Wednesday – 2:00pm to 10:00pm
Friday – 12:00pm to 8:00pm

Rapid antigen testing is now available at the Grand Traverse County Health Department’s Cherryland Center testing site. Testing is free of charge and will be completed regardless of symptoms. Testing is Mondays and Tuesdays by appointment only. To book an appointment, follow this link.
Due to the rising number of cases in the county, the Grand Traverse County Health Department is asking anyone who is told that they tested positive for COVID-19 to self-isolate at home until the health department is able to reach you. Additionally, any and all household contacts or close contacts should quarantine until the case investigation and contact tracing occurs.

Grand Traverse County testing sites include:
Munson Healthcare Foster Family Community Health Center (priority 1 & 2 only)
Northwest Michigan Health Services (testing all by appointment)
Rite Aid at Chums Corner (testing all by appointment)
Walgreens at Chums Corner (testing all by appointment)
GTCHD Testing at Cherryland Mall (testing by appointment on Mondays and Tuesdays)
See Michigan’s COVID-19 test finder for more options
Testing sites have capacity and tests are available. Individuals seeking tests can call:
● Their healthcare provider
● The Munson Healthcare Covid-19 hotline: 231-935-0951
● The Michigan COVID-19 hotline: 888-535-6136

Residents, businesses, and visitors are encouraged to Stay Safe to Stay Open. This includes the following measures while in public:
★ Staying 6 feet apart from others
★ Wearing masks while indoors our even outside when you are unable to maintain social
★ Limiting large social gatherings – not hosting or attending large gatherings
★ Continuing basic prevention measures like frequent hand washing
★ Following workplace safety protocols
★ Daily monitoring of yourself for symptoms including your temperature (even if you feel fine)
★ Staying home if symptomatic – even if it is just very mild symptoms
★ If others in your household have tested positive or are symptomatic, stay away and
take extra precautions to not become infected.

Grand Traverse County’s Joint Operations Center has been meeting to coordinate efforts and communication on the COVID-19 pandemic since Friday, March 13. Members include key community partners from health, government, first responders, education, social service, and business sectors.

Media Contact: Emmy Schumacher,, 231-493-8376