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Community Update 4-20

Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives remains the most important message for residents throughout Northwest Michigan. It is important that people continue to stay home as much as possible, avoid all non-essential travel and practice social distancing when they must go out. The Grand Traverse County Health Department has developed a helpful one-page info-graphic about when it is safe to leave your home if you have COVID-19 or live with someone who does. 

The Grand Traverse County Health Department is reporting 19 positive cases of COVID-19 in Grand Traverse County residents. Since yesterday, one additional person has tested positive for COVID-19, a male in his 60s: a case investigation is currently underway. To date, 411 individuals have been tested for COVID-19 in Grand Traverse County, 352 tests were negative and 6 people in the County who had previously tested positive have completed isolation and are symptom free. Michigan has reported 31,424 positive cases and 2,391 deaths of COVID-19. Numbers are updated daily. 

Additional data, as well as interactive maps, regarding the impacts of COVID-19 around the world (including Michigan and Grand Traverse County) can be found at the John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. 

Beginning later this week, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will begin reporting the number of probable cases for each county along with confirmed cases and deaths. Probable cases of COVID-19 disease include individuals who have exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 and/or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, but have not tested positive themselves. The Grand Traverse County Health Department has been tracking probable cases from the beginning of the pandemic and continues to follow up with individuals throughout their illness.  

Munson Healthcare is participating in a convalescent plasma trial and is currently seeking donations from local patients who have recovered from COVID-19. The convalescent plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients contain viral antibodies that have treatment potential for severe cases of the disease. Recovered COVID-19 patients in Northern Michigan interested in participating in the trial must meet the following criteria:

  • Have had a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 by a physician and laboratory testing
  • Be symptom free for at least 28 days
  • Be symptom free for 14 – 27 days, with a verified negative test

To make a plasma donation, or to learn if you are eligible, please contact Versiti at 866-702-4673 or email More information can also be found on-line here.


Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. Please direct your neighbors to these information resources for the most current, factual information:


Grand Traverse County’s Joint Operations Center has been meeting daily 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.    


The best prevention for viruses like COVID-19, influenza, and the common cold is to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.
  • Stay at least six feet away from others when in a public setting.
  • Replace handshakes with a friendly wave from 6 feet away.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has assembled a FAQ on protecting yourself from COVID-19. If you suspect that you may have contracted the virus, call your healthcare provider or the Michigan COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136, seven days a week from 8 am – 5 pm.