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Community Update 11/20


Since November 1, 2020, the Grand Traverse County Health Department has reported 578 cases of COVID-19, an average of 29 cases per day. The November surge accounts for over 42% of the cumulative case total since March of 2020. With the influx of cases we are asking those who receive a positive test result to follow the below directions until we are able to contact you directly.

If you are a newly diagnosed/COVID 19+ tested case, please self-isolate. Additionally, notify any of your close contacts that they will need to quarantine for 14 days from their last contact with you, until contact tracing can be completed and to monitor for symptoms. If symptoms arise, get tested. If you have school-age children, they should stay home from school and all school related activities as part of their quarantine.


Currently, hospital systems and local health departments are reporting that small social gatherings of more than one household are the biggest mechanism of spread for the virus. As we head into the holidays, MDHHS published strong recommendations for indoor social gatherings. Because no one measure confers complete protection in a gathering, the guidance recommends that individuals take multiple steps together:

  • Get together outside whenever possible. You have up to 20 times higher risk of getting sick inside.
  • If you do get together inside, include no more than two households and 10 people.
  • Limit time inside together—greater duration is greater risk.
  • Wear a mask – take it off when you eat or drink, then put it back on.
  • Keep six feet apart as much as you can.
  • When possible, keep voices down; high volume can increase COVID transmission by 30 times
  • Wash hands regularly and try to not to share utensils.


The Grand Traverse County Health Department (GTCHD) is reporting 59 new cases of COVID- 19 for Friday, November 20, 2020. Since November 13, 2020 GTCHD has reported 311 new positive cases and two deaths, bringing the total to 1,364 total cases, 665 recoveries, and 18 deaths, leaving 682 active cases in Grand Traverse County.

Grand Traverse County and the Traverse City Region as a whole is at a risk level E on the MI Safe Start Map. The current 7 day average of 10.1 % positivity reflects a 6 week increase and Grand Traverse County incidence is currently at 272 cases per million which reflects an 8 week increasing trend. Additional statistics are available on the Health Department’s dashboard and Facebook page, which updates new case information daily at 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

While conducting case investigations, the below locations, during the specified dates and times were determined to be a place of potential public exposure. Exposure sites not open to the public are contacted directly. (With the number of cases continuing to grow at an accelerated pace, community spread is very prevalent in our area. Although these locations have been identified, It should be assumed that every venture out into public is a possible risk.

Public Exposure Sites:

ACE Hardware on Front Street TC
11/15 from 10am-3:15pm

Traverse Area District Library
610 Woodmere Ave 11/12/20 from 4:15-4:45pm Children’s section

Bible Methodist Church
7640 US-31 in Grawn
11/15 from 9:45am-12pm and 6pm-7pm

If you were present at the above locations 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 have a heightened sense of awareness that you could become infectious at any point during the 14-day self-monitoring period. Please keep this in mind when interacting with family, friends and the public.

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. If you are inside in a public space, wear a mask. If you are in your own home with another person not part of your household, both of you wear a mask. If you are visiting a friend or relative’s home, both of you wear a mask.

  • Wash your cloth masks every day.
  • Make sure the mask covers your mouth and nose.
  • Do not lower the mask to speak, sneeze or cough.
  • Do not handle the front of your mask.


From November 18th through November 19th Grand Traverse County Health Department completed 28 case investigations for confirmed COVID-19 cases. The following is information known at this time:

  • All 28 cases are primary residents.
  • Ages:
    • 0-19 6
    • 20-29 2
    • 30-39 2
    • 40-49 2
    • 50-59 4
    • 60-69 7
    • 70-79 3
    • 80-89 1
    • 90-99 1
  • Symptomatic: 26 Asymptomatic: 2
  • 6 are linked to travel either into or out of the area as reported during the case investigation
  • 6 are linked to large group gatherings or social events
  • 17 cases were known close contacts to other positive cases
  • Approximately 112 close contacts were identified, notified, and instructed to quarantine.

Case Investigations were also completed on 5 probable case (individuals who were close contacts of a positive COVID case who became symptomatic during their quarantine)

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 295,177 total cases and 8,377 deaths of COVID-19 as of Friday, November 20, 2020. As of November 13, 2020, 138,862 have recovered in Michigan.


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 that 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 Grand Traverse County Health Department and Munson are partnering to bring a free drive-thru flu clinic to Grand Traverse County. Those 18 and older will be able to get a free flu shot. No insurance is necessary.

Date and time: Monday, November 23, 9 am – 4 pm
Place: Grand Traverse Metro Fire – Station 1
843 Industrial Circle, Traverse City, MI 49686


The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) re-released an updated Epidemic Order on gatherings, worker protections and face coverings across the state. To learn more about the revised order, you can access the following infographic, fact sheet, and FAQ.

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.


Anyone having difficulties navigating life during the COVID-19 pandemic, you are not alone. MDHHS has a mental health hotline you can access for free and confidential access to counselors 24/7. Language translation is available for non-English-speaking residents who call the counseling line.

MDHHS COVID-19 Help Hotline: 1-888-535-6136, choose prompt 8.

To access other mental health resources for coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, visit


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 website and communication templates and graphics on the Traverse Connect website.


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.