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Grand Traverse County News

Posted on: May 19, 2020

Community Update - May 19

May 19, 2020 COVID-19 Community Report 


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 51,915 positive cases and 4,915 deaths of COVID-19. 28,234 people have recovered. Numbers are updated daily. 


On May 18, Governor Whitmer issued MI Safe Start Executive Order 2020-92. In summary:

  • Individuals may leave their homes or place of residence to:

    • Engaging in outdoor activity

    • Performing critical and essential jobs as designated by an employer

    • Gather essential needs necessary for health, safety, food and household supplies

    •  Attend a funeral, training, real-estate appointment, or meeting of addiction recovery aid society with no more than 10 people in attendance

    • Work or business operations are to continue remotely except for critical infrastructure workers or workers necessary to conduct minimum basic operations

  • Individuals in the state of Michigan may travel if:

    • Returning to a home or place of residence outside this state

    • Leaving this state for a residence elsewhere

    • Between two residences in the state, or moving to a new residence

    • Travel is required by law enforcement or court order

    • All other travel is prohibited, including all travel to vacation rentals. Places of public accommodation are closed under Executive Order 2020-69

  • This order permits partial reopening of the local economy in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula (Region 6 and 8) beginning at 12:01 a.m. on May 22. Together, we have a responsibility to ourselves, our community, and the state of Michigan to act safely and collectively.

    • Follow social distancing guidelines when in a public place

    • Be vigilant about basic prevention methods such as hand hygiene and staying home if sick

    • Follow recommendations to wear masks in public places

    • Follow workplace safety protocols


We are in this together. Now more than ever, wearing masks, staying 6 feet apart, hand hygiene, and limiting social gatherings is vital to keeping our community safe. We are all dependent on one another to be responsible, prevent the spread of COVID-19, and follow all safety guidelines. 

Reminder to 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 you might spread the virus unknowingly. Returning residents are encouraged to use store delivery services upon arrival to the area.

Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives remains the most important message for residents throughout Northwest Michigan. The Governor’s MI Safe Start Plan outlines how the state will re-engage while continuing to keep communities safe. 


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

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

Grand Traverse County Health Department

Michigan Businesses


Information around this outbreak can change rapidly. Please direct your neighbors to these information resources for the most current, factual information: 


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.    


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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