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Community Update 8/03


The Grand Traverse County Health Department (GTCHD) reports 5 new positive cases since Friday bringing the total to 174 total cases, 74 recoveries, and 5 deaths, leaving 95 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 11,562 tests have been administered to date with a 7 day average of 1.9% positivity rate. Grand Traverse County is listed at a medium-risk level on the MI Safe Start Map. Additional statistics are available on the Health Department’s dashboard and Facebook page, which updates new case information daily at 4 pm. 

From July 31 through August 2, Grand Traverse County Health Department completed 3 case investigations for confirmed COVID-19 cases. The following is information known at this time:

  • All 3 cases are primary residents.
  • Ages:
    • 30-39 1
    • 40-49 1 
    • 50-59 1
  • Symptomatic:   1                          Asymptomatic:   2
  • 1 case is linked to travel either into or out of the area as reported during the case investigation. 
  • 1 case is linked to large group gatherings or social events.
  • Approximately 16 close contacts were identified, notified, and instructed to quarantine.
  • 0  cases were known close contacts to other positive cases

Case Investigations were also completed on 4 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: 

Kilkenny’s Irish Pub – July 25 from 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Bob Evans – July 26 from 12:45 – 1:45 p.m.

North Peak Brewing Company – August 2 from 9 -10 p.m.

If you were at this location during the listed time period, you should self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days since the possible exposure. Symptoms include: fever, cough, shortness of breath, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, repeated shaking with chills, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.  Anyone that is self-monitoring as a result should keep away from family, close contacts and roommates as much as possible.

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 83,386 positive cases and 6,212 deaths of COVID-19. 60,022 have recovered in Michigan as of 7/31/20. 


Results from the Community Testing Event at TC East Middle School on July 24 & 25 are in. Of the 686 tested, 669 were negative, 17 were positive. One of the 17 positives was a previously confirmed case, and therefore is not counted twice. That leaves the results as 16 total new positives that were discovered during testing. Of the 16, 12 were Grand Traverse County residents. 

Anyone who provided an email or cell phone number was contacted by the laboratory, LynxDx and given access to a portal to obtain their results.  The Grand Traverse County Health Department Communicable Disease team started the case investigation of the 13 positive cases. More details will be released when they are determined. Anyone who received a negative result will also be contacted via phone. 

As a reminder, the Grand Traverse County Health Department uses a private/unknown number when calling about testing results or case follow up. This is to protect patient privacy. If you were tested at the event, please be aware of this if you are expecting a call with results. 


Safe Harbor is nearing its opening date on November, 1, 2020. To assure social distancing, capacity accommodations for the 2020-2021 season have been trimmed down. The shelter is able to accommodate 72 beds in the shelter, down ten from previous seasons.  Adhering to fire department codes, a permanent tent is being placed in the parking lot, extending space for dining and socializing. Volunteer staff for the season is still a matter of urgency. Of the agency’s 900 volunteers, nearly 300 responded to a survey agreeing to assist as long as masks were provided and required and temperature screenings were done. Goodwill is in the process of extending it’s staff to assist as well. Daily professional cleaning of the facility will be scheduled.  


Starting Friday, July 31, the Grand Traverse County Joint Operations Center (JOC) community update will be included as part of the Grand Traverse County Health Department’s update, in an effort to streamline communications. The JOC continues to meet weekly on Monday and Friday to coordinate the community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The JOC began meeting Friday, March 13. Members include key community partners from health, government, first responders, education, social service, and business sectors.  


As travel to our region continues through the summer, 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.


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 

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. 

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 and communication templates and graphics on the Traverse Connect 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.