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Community Update 5-20


The Grand Traverse County Health Department reports the total number of COVID-19 cases remains at 23 positive cases, 6 probable cases, 14 recoveries, and 5 deaths in Grand Traverse County residents. The Health Department maintains regular contact with all active cases while they remain in home isolation. These numbers and additional 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. Numbers listed are by hospital, not county of residence.

Michigan has reported 52,350 positive cases and 5,017 deaths of COVID-19. 28,234 people have recovered. Numbers are updated daily.


As Traverse City and Grand Traverse County begin reopening retail, restaurants, and other allowable activities on Friday, March 22, 2020 (as authorized under Executive Order 2020-92), residents and second home owners are asked to Stay Safe to Stay Open. Continuing to keep our community safe by staying 6 feet apart, wearing masks, using basic prevention methods such as frequent hand washing and staying home if sick, and limiting social gatherings is vital to keeping our community safe and open for business. Together, we can be a model for the state and allow economic recovery in our region, without risking the health of our residents or capacity of our healthcare system. We are all dependent on one another to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.


On May 18, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued MI Safe Start Executive Order 2020-92. In summary:

  • Individuals may leave their homes or place of residence to:
    • Engage in outdoor activity
    • Perform critical and essential jobs as designated by an employer
    • Gather essential needs necessary for health, safety, food and household supplies
    • Attend a funeral, training, real-estate appointment, or meeting of addiction recovery aid society with no more than 10 people in attendance
    • Work or business operations are to continue remotely except for critical infrastructure workers or workers necessary to conduct minimum basic operations
  • Individuals in the state of Michigan may travel if:
    • Returning to a home or place of residence from outside this state
    • Leaving this state for a residence elsewhere
    • Traveling between two residences in the state, or moving to a new residence
    • Travel is required by law enforcement or court order
  • All other travel is prohibited, including all travel to vacation rentals. Places of public accommodation are closed under Executive Order 2020-69.
  • This order permits partial reopening of the local economy in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula (Region 6 and 8) beginning at 12:01 a.m. on May 22. Together, we have a responsibility to ourselves, our community, and the state of Michigan to act safely and collectively.
    • Follow social distancing guidelines when in a public place
    • Be vigilant about basic prevention methods such as hand hygiene and staying home if sick
    • Follow recommendations to wear masks in public places
    • Follow workplace safety protocols


Reminder to 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 you might spread the virus unknowingly. Returning residents are encouraged to use store delivery services upon arrival to the area.


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

CDC Decision Tools to Guide Reopening of Schools, Businesses, and Transit

Grand Traverse County Health Department

Michigan Businesses


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 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.