Skip to main content

Community Update 4-26

Grand Traverse County COVID-19 Community Update

Social distancing continues to be our best weapon to stop the spread of the virus following Governor Whitmer’s Friday updates to the Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order.
Data shows that most Michiganders are doing their part by staying home and staying safe as much as possible, and are asked to do so through May 15.

To date, the Grand Traverse County Health Department has reported 19 positive cases, 6 probable cases, and 5 deaths from COVID-19 among Grand Traverse County residents. Grand Traverse County Health Department identified 6 probable cases through contact tracing investigations. Probable cases are individuals that have been directly linked epidemiologically to a confirmed case and have had symptoms consistent with COVID-19, but were not tested. The 6 probable cases are primarily the household contacts of confirmed cases who then developed symptoms. So far, these probable cases have developed symptoms while they are already in quarantine.

Michigan has 37,203 confirmed cases and 3,274 deaths, including 189 newly-reported deaths. The state is expected to begin reporting probable cases in the coming week in an attempt to present a fuller picture of the virus’ impact in Michigan.

On Friday, Governor Whitmer extended the Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order through May 15. The order begins a slow, careful and gradual reopening of certain commercial and recreation activities.

While practicing social distancing, businesses like landscapers, pest control, garden stores and nurseries can resume operations, and residents may resume motor boating and golf. Stores can reopen for curbside pickup and product delivery. All businesses with in-person workers must provide employees with non-medical grade face masks. Beginning Monday, residents are required to wear face coverings in enclosed spaces like grocery stores, if they can medically tolerate it.

The new order also allows residents to travel between multiple residences if they own more than one home in Michigan, but strongly discourages people from doing so unless it is absolutely necessary. Hospitals in Northern Michigan and other rural parts of the state are not equipped to meet an influx of people who may bring or spread the virus. Residents who travel to other residences are encouraged to avoid local grocery stores during their visits.

Traverse Connect has provided a guide for businesses on the new rules, and the state has posted answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the updated order.

The Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department reported Saturday that a COVID-19 patient traveled through Cherry Capital Airport just before they developed symptoms on April 14. The airport continues to follow all safety and sanitation protocols in accordance with CDC guidelines. Social distancing was maintained on the flight; currently, flights at the airport are averaging 8 passengers. The airport updates COVID-19 information on its website.

Businesses and individuals can take simple steps to help with potential need for virus contact tracing. Employees can log entry into facilities and sites throughout their workday. Individuals can keep notes on places they visited and people with whom they have close contact. When health officials need to trace exposures, access to this information in a notebook or calendar format is very helpful.