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Community Update 7/10

DAILY NUMBERS AND COMMUNITY TESTING

The Grand Traverse County Health Department (GTCHD) reports 12 new positive cases since Monday bringing the total to 77 positive cases, 30 recoveries, and 5 deaths, leaving 42 active cases in Grand Traverse County residents. This is the highest number of active cases since the start of the pandemic. Case investigation and contact tracing is in progress daily for new cases. Thursday marked the highest number of new cases (8) reported in one day. The current trend in cases shows more cases have been identified in individuals in their 20s and 30s. Additional statistics are available on the Health Department’s dashboard

Recent case investigations show an increase in residents not following guidelines to limit group size to 10 people or fewer if outside of a person’s immediate household. A few clusters of groups of people doing activities together such as boating, sports or celebrations are also part of the increase in cases. We also continue to see people traveling to and from the region while sick or prior to getting testing results back which has led to community exposures previously reported out. All of this is contributing to community spread of the virus. With so many active cases in our community, the public should also assume potential risk for COVID-19 exposure when going into any business and should always be wearing masks, social distancing and other safety guidelines to reduce the spread in Grand Traverse County. 

New community exposures are reported out when they are identified, however most exposures are able to be followed up on directly. A new community exposure being reported out today is:

  • 7/5/20 at Turtle Creek Casino; exposure from 8:30-9:15pm, at the black jack tables 

Anyone who was present at the above location, date, and time is asked to self-monitor for 14 days from the exposure date for symptoms daily. If you develop symptoms or seek testing, you must quarantine until test results come back. 

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 67,683 positive cases and 6,024 deaths of COVID-19. 52,841 have recovered in Michigan as of 7/3/20. Grand Traverse County and the Traverse City region 6 have moved from low to medium risk on the state’s dashboard due to case increases. 

NEW STATE MASK RULES: NO SHIRT, NO SHOES, NO MASK- NO SERVICE

Governor Whitmer issued a new Executive Order 2020-147 that makes masks mandatory for most people in indoor spaces and crowded outdoor spaces. It also requires businesses to refuse entry to people who do not wear masks, with limited exceptions. Willful violation of the order is a misdemeanor subject to a $500 criminal penalty. Exemptions to the mask order include kids younger than 5-year-old, those who have a medical condition that bars them from wearing a mask, and people who are eating or drinking while seated in a restaurant. 

TESTING AND TRAVELERS 

As travel to our region continues to increase with warmer weather, we want to reassure and remind residents of a few important items.

  • If an individual visits Grand Traverse and tests positive for COVID-19, their local health department would conduct a case investigation to identify close contacts. Their local health department would inform us of the case and any potential contacts or exposure sites. We then will report out any public exposure sites (if any).
  • Standard contact tracing helps determine where the individual was during the symptomatic period. During that process, if close contacts within our County were identified, the local health department would contact those affected as well as the Grand Traverse County Health Department .
  • If a visitor were to become ill with COVID-19 while in our jurisdiction, we ask that the hospital or provider contact us in addition to the local health department of the county of residence. Often these cases are initially referred to us and we follow up and hand them off to the health department of their county of residence.
  • If a seasonal resident is obtaining a test while residing in our region, we ask that they use their local address for testing so it is included in our case numbers.

Residents have expressed concern that visitors to our region are not tracked in our data or reporting. Through case investigations with their local health department, we would be notified if a visitor to our region tested positive during their stay. While these individuals may not be included in the case counts for our four-county jurisdiction, we do monitor this and provide the necessary information to the public.

COVID-19 TESTING:

Grand Traverse County testing sites include:

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 

STAY SAFE TO STAY OPEN RESOURCES:

In an effort to help more businesses and communities “stay safe to stay open”, a new library of graphics, social media templates, and other communication tools are being made available on the Traverse Connect website

TOOLKITS FOR BUSINESSES

The Grand Traverse County Health Department’s reopening toolkits are available on the Health Department website.

STAY SAFE TO STAY OPEN

Residents, businesses, and visitors are encouraged to Stay Safe to Stay Open. This includes the following measures while in public:

  • Staying 6 feet apart 
  • Wearing masks
  • Limiting large social gatherings 
  • Continuing basic prevention measures like frequent hand washing
  • Following workplace safety protocols.

Businesses can download a Stay Safe to Stay Open printable poster and a social media image at the gtcountycovid19.com website. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & RESOURCES

Please visit gtcountycovid19.com for important resources including health and safety information for individuals and businesses. 

ABOUT THE JOC

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.