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Community Update 5-01


The Grand Traverse County Health Department continues to report 19 positive cases, 6 probable cases, and 5 deaths from COVID-19 in Grand Traverse County residents. There have been no new cases in Grand Traverse County for 11 days. These numbers and additional county statistics are available on a new dashboard. Full case investigations and contact tracing were completed on all confirmed and probable cases. 

Regionally, Munson Healthcare is reporting COVID-19 testing results on its website for each of its hospitals throughout northern Michigan. Numbers are listed by the hospital that provided service and not broken out by county of residence.

Michigan has reported 41,379 positive cases and 3,789 deaths of COVID-19. 8,342 people have recovered. Numbers are updated daily.


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. People are required to wear cloth face coverings when they enter enclosed public spaces. 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 Joint Operation Center has been meeting daily to coordinate efforts and communication on the COVID-19 pandemic since Friday, March 13. Due to these efforts, and the good response from Grand Traverse County residents to help flatten the curve, the JOC will now reduce its meeting schedule to Monday-Friday and will resume weekend meetings on an as needed basis. Urgent health and safety communications during the weekends will continue as needed directly from those departments.   


More people are able to get tests in Michigan due to recently expanded criteria. 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 

Grand Traverse County’s testing sites are:

Michigan’s testing priority criteria now includes: 

  1. Priority One: Hospitalized Patients; Healthcare facility workers with symptoms; 
  2. Priority Two:  Patients in long-term care or congregate living facilities with symptoms; Patients over age 65 years with symptoms; Patients with underlying conditions with symptoms; First responders with symptoms
  3. Priority Three: Critical infrastructure workers with symptoms; Individuals who do not meet any of the above categories with symptoms; Asymptomatic health care workers and first responders; Individuals with mild symptoms in communities experiencing high COVID-19 hospitalizations
  4. Priority Four: Critical infrastructure workers, including asymptomatic workers- * only if specimen collection and testing capacity remains after serving all patient groups above 


Congratulations to nearly 600 graduates at Northwestern Michigan College. Those students would have participated in commencement activities May 2, but the event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The college cancelled face-to-face classes March 13 and quickly pivoted to online delivery to limit the disruption to learning, while keeping students and employees safe. Congratulations NMC class of 2020!    


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.