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Community Update 7/20

DAILY NUMBERS AND COMMUNITY TESTING

The Grand Traverse County Health Department (GTCHD) reports 11 new positive cases from Saturday, Sunday and  Monday bringing the total to 120 positive cases, 39 recoveries, and 5 deaths, leaving 76 active cases in Grand Traverse County residents. Case investigations and contact tracing are in progress, and information will be shared when it is available. Approximately 8,500 residents have been tested to date with a 7-day average positivity rate of 2.8%. Grand Traverse County is listed at a medium-risk level on the MI Safe Start Map. The trend continues to show more cases in people in their teens, 20s, and 30s with more contacts per case. Additional statistics are available on the Health Department’s dashboard and Facebook page, which updates new case information daily at 4 pm. 

From Friday, July 17 through Sunday, July 19, Grand Traverse County Health Department completed 10 case investigations for confirmed COVID-19 cases.  The following is information known at this time:

  • All  10 cases are primary residents.
  • Ages:
    0-19          1
    20-29        1
    30-39        5
    40-49        1
    50-59       1
    60-69       1
    70-79        0
    80-89        0
    90-99        0
    100+         0
  • Symptomatic:  7  Asymptomatic:  3
  • 6 are linked to travel either into or out of the area as reported during the case investigation
  • 3 are linked to large group gatherings or social events
  • Approximately 39 close contacts were identified, notified, and instructed to quarantine

Case Investigations were also completed on 2 probable cases (individuals who were close contacts of a positive COVID case who became symptomatic during their 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 locations were identified as potential low-risk, public exposure sites:

  • The Little Fleet: 7/10 and 7/11 Exact times unknown
  • Low Bar 7/10 5-8 p.m.
  • The Parlor 7/10 8 p.m. – Unknown
  • Elite Fitness North 7/11 Before 2 p.m.

Anyone who was at one of the above locations during the dates and times listed is asked to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 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. The public should also assume the potential risk for COVID-19 exposure when going into any business and should always be wearing masks, social distancing and follow other safety guidelines to reduce the spread in Grand Traverse County. 

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 74,152 positive cases and 6,126 deaths of COVID-19. 55,162 have recovered in Michigan as of 7/17/20. Grand Traverse County and the Traverse City Region 6 remain at medium risk on the state’s dashboard due to case number increases.  

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

Friday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-153, which strengthens her previous order requiring all Michiganders to wear a mask in indoor public spaces and crowded outdoor spaces. This new order clarifies that businesses may not assume that an unmasked customer cannot medically tolerate a face covering, though they can accept a customer’s verbal representation to that effect. It also requires public safety officers to wear a face covering unless doing so would seriously interfere in the performance of their responsibilities, and clarifies that wearing a mask at a polling place for purposes of voting in an election is not required, but strongly encouraged.

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:

The Grand Traverse County Health Department is organizing a COVID-19 testing event for the evening of Friday, July 24 and the morning of Saturday, July 25. Full details will be announced on Tuesday by the Health Department.

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 

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 and individuals can download Stay Safe to Stay Open resources and get additional information at the gtcountycovid19.com website and communication templates and graphics on the Traverse Connect website

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.