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Community Update 4-12

This Easter, like every day this month, residents are encouraged to participate in religious services and other gatherings online, and to visit with family and friends by phone or using online video. Contact with people outside of your immediate household increases the risk of virus spread. To date, Grand Traverse County has 17 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, with 273 county residents tested, three deaths, and five people removed from isolation per guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Grand Traverse County Health Department asks each household to limit the number of people who leave home as much as possible. Please go out only for urgent or essential needs like groceries and medical supplies. These restrictions are in place through April 30 per Governor Whitmer’s extended Stay Home, Stay Safe order. In addition to social distancing and safety guidelines, the order also:

  • Imposes restrictions on how many people can be in stores at one time.
  • Prohibits vacation rentals, except for healthcare workers and first responders.
  • Prohibits travel between two residences.

Supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are running low in Grand Traverse County and across the country. Therefore, use of N95 masks must be prioritized for frontline healthcare workers and first responders. Following recommendations by the CDC, the general public is advised to wear homemade face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

For the most current, factual information about COVID-19 in Grand Traverse County, visit the official gtcountycovid19.com website and Facebook page. Residents can also call the hotline at 231-642-3548 or sign up to receive daily updates via email. All critical health updates come from the Grand Traverse County Health Department and Munson Healthcare and are immediately posted throughout the day along with other updates from the Joint Operations Center. Munson Healthcare also reports COVID-19 testing results on its website for each of its hospitals throughout northern Michigan. Please direct your neighbors to these best information resources.

Grand Traverse County’s Joint Operations Center has been meeting daily 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.

BASIC PREVENTION MEASURES

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.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at gtchd.org, at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus, and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.