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Community Update 7/17


The Grand Traverse County Health Department (GTCHD) reports 18 new positive cases since Monday afternoon bringing the total to 109 positive cases, 35 recoveries, and 5 deaths, leaving 69 active cases in Grand Traverse County residents. Case investigation and contact tracing are in progress daily for new cases. Approximately 8,000 residents have been tested to date with a 7 day average positivity rate of 2.4%. Grand Traverse County is listed as medium risk level on the MI Safe Start Map. The trend continues to show more cases in people in their 20s with more contacts per case. Additional statistics are available on the Health Department’s dashboard

From July 14th through July 17th at 3 pm, we completed case 18 investigations for confirmed COVID-19 cases. The information known at this time is below:
• All  of the 18 cases are primary residents of Grand Traverse County
• Ages of Cases:

  • 0-19 years     4 cases
  • 20-29 years   1 case
  • 30-39 years   6 cases
  • 40-49 years    2 cases
  • 50-59 years    2 cases
  • 60-69 years    1 case
  • 70-79 years    1 case
  • 80-89 years    1 case

• Symptomatic: 12 cases;  Asymptomatic: 6 cases
• 4 cases linked to travel either into or out of the area as reported during their case investigation
• 7 cases are linked to large group gatherings or social events
• Over 85 total close contacts to these cases identified, notified, and instructed to quarantine

New community exposures are reported out when they are identified, however most exposures are able to be followed up on directly. During case investigations, the following restaurants were identified as potential low-risk, public exposure sites.

KFC at Chum’s Corner in Traverse City
• Wednesday, July 8, 3:30 – 10 pm
• Thursday, July 9, 10:30 am – 4 pm
• Friday, July 10, 3:45 – 10 pm
• Saturday, July 11, 3 – 10 pm

The Hayloft Inn, 5100 E. Traverse Highway in Traverse City
• Saturday, July 4, 5 – 10 pm
• Tuesday, July 7, 10 am – 5 pm
• Wednesday, July 8, 5 – 10 pm
• Friday, July 10, 5 – 10 pm

Anyone who was at one of the above locations during the dates and times listed is asked to self monitor for symptoms of COVID19 for 14 days from their exposure date. If you seek testing, please remember once you get tested you should not be going out and visiting local shops and restaurants or other public spaces while waiting for test results. Anyone who gets tested for COVID-19 must remember to stay home and away from others as much as possible until they have received a negative test result, or once they have passed their isolation period as advised by the health department if they test positive.

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 71,842 positive cases and 6,101 deaths of COVID-19. 53,867 have recovered in Michigan as of 7/10/20. Grand Traverse County and the Traverse City region 6 remain at medium risk on the state’s dashboard due to case increases.  


Governor Whitmer issued a new Executive Order 2020-147 that makes masks mandatory for most people in indoor spaces and crowded outdoor spaces. 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. 


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.


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 


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

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 and individuals can download Stay Safe to Stay Open resources and get additional information at the website. 


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.