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Community Update 5-14


The Grand Traverse County Health Department is reporting two new positive cases of COVID-19, which brings the total number of cases in the county to 23 positive cases, 6 probable cases, 14 recoveries, and 5 deaths from COVID-19 in Grand Traverse County residents. One of the new cases is a female in her 70s and the second is a female in her 60s. Both cases are community-acquired, involved no travel, and are recovering at home. The County Health Department is currently conducting contact tracing with both individuals. With each new positive case, the County Health Department will work to identify and contact anyone potentially exposed. In addition, the County Health Department maintains regular contact with all active cases while they remain in home isolation. These numbers and additional county statistics are available on the County’s dashboard

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 48,391 positive cases and 4,714 deaths of COVID-19. 22,686 people have recovered.   


Governor Whitmer has extended the Stay Home, Stay Safe order until May 28. Residents still must not leave their homes except to run critical errands, to engage in safe outdoor activities, or to go to specified jobs. This order allowed manufacturers to resume work yesterday as part of the MI Safe Start Plan.


Traverse City Area Public Schools will be distributing free boxes of produce to students and families each week via the district’s meal distribution sites. On Wednesday, May 20th, produce will be distributed at East Middle School (1776 Three Mile Rd.) and Traverse Heights Elementary School (933 Rose St.). On Friday, May 22nd, produce will be distributed at Long Lake Elementary School (7600 N. Long Lake Rd.) and Silver Lake Elementary School (5858 Culver Rd.). One box of produce will be provided per household, while supplies last. The fresh produce distribution will continue each week that the meal distribution centers are open through the summer. LaGrasso Bros. Produce, which is the supplier of produce to TCAPS under the Michigan Farm to Freezer program, is providing the fresh produce. The effort is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City will be conducting a planned 3-helicopter formation training flight on Friday, May 15, 2020, beginning at 2:00 p.m., and will use it to honor frontline healthcare workers and to raise community spirits. The planned route and approximate flyover times are available to view at: The community is asked to please follow social distancing guidelines when viewing the flyover. 


Emergencies Shouldn’t Stay Home. Don’t Risk It. Call 9-1-1. Heart attacks, stroke, and other emergencies don’t stop during crises like COVID-19. Don’t ignore the warning signs – Call 9-1-1 and get immediate medical attention for what could be a life-threatening emergency

Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives remains the most important message for residents throughout Northwest Michigan. This executive order was extended through May 28. 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 Governor’s MI Safe Start Plan outlines how the state will re-engage while continuing to keep communities safe.

Seasonal and Returning Residents – The Grand Traverse County Health Department and Northern Michigan Public Health Alliance are recommending a 14-day self-quarantine to limit the chances of spreading the virus unknowingly. Returning residents are encouraged to use store delivery services upon arrival to the area. More information can be found here.


The following toolkits provide guidance for businesses bringing employees back to work:

Grand Traverse County Health Department

Michigan Businesses

Local advisory committees are currently reviewing how to safely re-engage childcare services as the non-essential business sector is allowed to open. Today, Traverse Connect conducted an industry forum discussion on childcare that will help guide the approach to these services in the weeks ahead. Links to all Traverse Connect industry forums are provided here.

Information around this outbreak can change 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.