Grand Traverse County announces first COVID-19 case

Mar 22, 2020


Traverse City's Front Street was mostly empty last week as people throughout the region isolate.
Credit Kaye LaFond

The Grand Traverse County Health Department repored its first positive case of COVID-19 on Sunday.

The resident is a man in his 20s who has a history of international travel. He is recovering at his home. 

The Health Department says its working to identify and contact anyone the man potentially exposed. 


Wendy Hirschenberger, the Health Officer for the Grand Traverse County Health Department, says the man went into isolation when he started showing symptoms and it’s unlikely he spread the virus much in the community.


"I think it’s safe to assume that there is potential for other cases in our community," she says. "But in this specific case we do not feel there was any community transmission."


As of Sunday afternoon, Grand Traverse County has sent 75 tests to the state lab, with 27 negative results and one positive test result. Those who have pending tests may be positive.


"Now more than ever we want them to follow the social distancing guidelines," Hirschenberger says. "As a health officer, I’m recommending that only essential activity within the community should happen.”


She says people should continue to stay six feet away from others, wash their hands and not touch their faces, if they have to leave the house.


The new case of COVID-19 in Grand Traverse County adds to the growing number of cases in northern Michigan reported over the weekend.


There are now 10 cases reported in northern Michigan counties, including: 


Charlevoix: 2
Clare: 1
Emmet: 1
Grand Traverse: 1
Leelanau: 1
Wexford: 1
Otsego: 2
Roscommon: 1


IPR News will update this story as more information becomes available.