News Flash

Grand Traverse County News

Posted on: May 18, 2020

Community Update - May 18

Grand Traverse County COVID-19 Community Update - May 18, 2020 


The Grand Traverse County Health Department reports the total number of COVID-19 cases remains at 23 positive cases, 6 probable cases, 14 recoveries, and 5 deaths in Grand Traverse County residents. The Health Department maintains regular contact with all active cases while they remain in home isolation. These numbers and additional statistics are available on the County’s dashboard.  

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 51,142 positive cases and 4,891 deaths of COVID-19. 28,234 people have recovered.  


This week, the Grand Traverse County Joint Operation Center is reducing its meeting schedule to only Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The group started meeting daily March 13 to coordinate efforts and communication on the COVID-19 pandemic. May 1, the group reduced the meeting schedule to Monday-Friday due to the good response from Grand Traverse County residents to help flatten the curve. As that trend continues, the JOC will continue to reduce its meeting schedule. The group will resume more frequent meetings on an as-needed basis. Urgent health and safety communications during the weekends will continue as needed directly from those departments.    


Bay Area Transportation Authority 

BATA will begin to increase service levels this week starting with the re-start of service on the Village Loop routes and the re-opening of the Hall Street transfer station. The City Loop weekend service will return Saturday, May 23. Drivers and riders will be maintaining social distancing on vehicles and at the transfer stations. BATA is taking a phased approach to return to full service levels by July 1. 


Emergencies Shouldn’t Stay Home. Heart attacks, stroke, and other emergencies don’t stop during crises like COVID-19. Call 9-1-1 and get immediate medical attention for what could be a life-threatening emergency. 

Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives remains the most important message for residents throughout Northwest Michigan. This executive order was extended through May 28. It is important that people continue to stay home as much as possible, avoid all non-essential travel, and practice social distancing. The Governor’s MI Safe Start Plan outlines how the state will re-engage while continuing to keep communities safe. 

Seasonal and Returning Residents - The Grand Traverse County Health Department and Northern Michigan Public Health Alliance are recommending a 14-day self-quarantine to limit the chances of spreading the virus unknowingly. Returning residents are encouraged to use store delivery services upon arrival to the area. More information can be found here


The following toolkits provide guidance for businesses bringing employees back to work: 

NEW - CDC Decision Tools to Guide Reopening of Schools, Businesses, and Transit

· Camps

· Child Care Programs

· Mass Transit

· Restaurants and Bars

· Schools

· Workplaces 

Grand Traverse County Health Department

·  Manufacturing Toolkit

·  Food-Selling Establishments Toolkit 

·  Reopen Toolkit (Business, Accounting, Administrative, Legal, Finance, Realtors)

·  Construction Industry Toolkit

Michigan Businesses

·  Workplace Resources, Guidance, and Supplies (Traverse Connect)

·  COVID-19 Business Response Center Resources (Business Leaders for Michigan) 


Information around this outbreak can change rapidly. Please use these resources for the most current, factual information:


Grand Traverse County’s Joint Operations Center started meeting Friday, March 13 to coordinate efforts and communication on the COVID-19 pandemic. Members include key community partners from health, government, first responders, education, social service, and business sectors.    


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.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has assembled a FAQ on protecting yourself from COVID-19. If you suspect that you may have contracted the virus, call your healthcare provider or the Michigan COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136, seven days a week from 8 am - 5 pm.


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