The Northern Michigan Public Health Alliance wants people to self-quarantine if they are traveling to northern Michigan.
In an advisory, the association — made up of seven local health departments — says they recommend a 14-day self quarantine for anyone visiting or returning to northern Michigan. The request is endorsed by local healthcare systems, local law enforcement and county leadership.
The notice comes as Up North communities have noticed more people seeking shelter in the region, hoping to avoid becoming ill from COVID-19.
It’s caused local health departments to worry especially about rural communities, which don’t have enough health care support for the new arrivals if they become ill, or spread the disease more.
The departments say there could also be shortages of groceries and toiletries with more people in the area.
The health departments join the Grand Traverse County Health Department, which was the first to ask people arriving in the region from places with significant COVID-19 community spread to self-quarantine.
Local health officials say if people follow state and local guidelines for social distancing it will substantially lower the risk for spreading COVID-19.