A NOTE FROM THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT
Since October 1, 2020, Grand Traverse County has reported 208 new cases of COVID-19 and have traced over 900 close contacts to positive cases who were instructed to quarantine. With that in mind, it is an understatement to say that case investigations are an invaluable component to limiting the further spread of the virus in our area. We urge anyone that receives a telephone call from the Grand Traverse County Health Department to please return the call promptly and comply with case investigations.
Due to the large volume of cases (an average of over 13 cases per day over the past week), case investigations, and contract tracing, 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 should quarantine until the case investigation and contact tracing occurs. Do not go to work, school, or any other public place while you are infectious.
If you are under a health department ordered quarantine, a negative test does not end the 14-day quarantine period early. You can both come down with symptoms AND infect others during the entire two week period. Quarantine times are disease-specific based upon infectious periods of the disease and transmission period. You must stay quarantined for the entire 14-day possible infectious period.
The Grand Traverse County Health Department (GTCHD) has reported 92 new positive cases and one death since Friday, October 16, bringing the total to 646 total cases, 406 recoveries, and 13 deaths, leaving 227 active cases in Grand Traverse County. Case investigations and contact tracing are in progress, and information will be shared when it is available.
Grand Traverse County is at risk level D while the Traverse City Region is listed at a B risk level on the MI Safe Start Map. The current 7 day average of 4.1% positivity reflects a 2-week increase and Grand Traverse County incidence is currently at 68.5 cases per million which is a 4-week increase. Additional statistics are available on the Health Department’s dashboard and Facebook page, which updates new case information daily at 4 pm, Monday through Friday.
From October 21 – 22, the Grand Traverse County Health Department completed 25 case investigations for confirmed COVID-19 cases. The following is information known at this time:
- All 25 cases are primary residents.
- 0-19 2
- 20-29 8
- 30-39 3
- 40-49 4
- 50-59 3
- 60-69 2
- 70-79 3
- Symptomatic: 20 Asymptomatic: 5
- 5 are linked to travel either into or out of the area as reported during the case investigation
- 4 are linked to large group gatherings or social events
- 17 cases were known close contacts to other positive cases
- Approximately 50 close contacts were identified, notified, and instructed to quarantine.
Case Investigations were also completed on 0 probable cases (individuals who were close contacts of a positive COVID case who became symptomatic during their quarantine).
While conducting case investigations, the listed locations, during the specified dates and times were discovered to be a place of potential public exposure. Exposure sites not open to the public are contacted directly.
Thursday, October 15 from 5 – 10:00 p.m.
Friday, October 16 from 4:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Saturday, October 17 from 7:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Friday, October 16 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 17 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery:
Saturday, October 17 from 5:15 – 7:00 p.m.
Resurrection Life Church:
Sunday, October 18
11 a.m. service
If you were present at the above location during the listed time periods, you should self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days since the possible exposure, particularly if you were not wearing a mask or maintaining 6 foot distance from others.
Symptoms include: fever, cough, shortness of breath, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, repeated shaking with chills, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.
Anyone that is self-monitoring as a result should keep away from the public, family, close contacts and roommates as much as possible.
Please note that regardless of any listed locations, community exposure is happening across Grand Traverse County. Be sure to practice safety measures while out in public, including wearing a mask in public, washing your hands often, maintaining six feet of social distance.
Regionally, Munson Healthcare is reporting COVID-19 testing results on its website for each of its hospitals. Numbers listed are by hospital, not county of residence.
Michigan has reported 154,688 positive cases and 7,147 deaths of COVID-19 and 109,539 have recovered in Michigan as of 10/17/20.
NEW EMERGENCY ORDERS AND RULES ISSUED
On Friday, October 9th, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon issued an Emergency Order under section 2253 of the Public Health Code. This order provides additional detail and clarity around the major areas of protection including facial coverings, worker protections, and limits on gathering sizes.
The new provisions in the MDHHS orders provide for capacity limits in businesses, masks in childcare centers, added protections for workers, and requirements for contact tracing. The state also released an infographic and a fact sheet to provide a better understanding of the latest orders.
Additionally, the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) issued a new emergency rule on October 14, 2020, for employers to control, prevent, and mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among employees. To see the rules in full, visit MIOSHA COVID-19 Emergency Rules 10-14-20. A fact sheet regarding the rules can be found here: MIOSHA EMERGENCY RULES.
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)
- 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
If you seek testing, please remember once you get tested you should not be going out and visiting local shops and restaurants or other public spaces while waiting for test results. Anyone who gets tested for COVID-19 must remember to stay home and away from others as much as possible until they have received a negative test result, or once they have passed their isolation period as advised by the health department if they test positive. The public should also assume the potential risk for COVID-19 exposure when going into any business and should always be wearing masks, social distancing and follow other safety guidelines to reduce the spread in Grand Traverse County.
The day shelter at Safe Harbor that is operated by Goodwill is now opened. The shelter is open from 8:15 a.m. – noon, Monday through Friday.
Safe Harbor’s overnight shelter will open on Saturday, October 31. Central United Methodist is planning to offer hot breakfast five days a week from 8 – 10 a.m. at Safe Harbor beginning in November.
The Senior Center Network and the Commission on Aging each have disposable masks available for seniors in Grand Traverse County. Parties may call either office to arrange for curbside pick up or could be mailed upon request.
Senior Center Network: 231-922-4911
Commission on Aging: 231-922-4688
STAY SAFE TO STAY OPEN
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 distancing
- 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.
Businesses and individuals can download Stay Safe to Stay Open resources and get additional information at the gtcountycovid19.com website and communication templates and graphics on the Traverse Connect website.
ABOUT THE JOC
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.