COVID CLEANING (copy)

Jessica Corbin cleans the tables and chairs outside Good Harbor Coffee and Bakery in downtown Traverse City in July. Corbin said staff was cleaning the surfaces at least once an hour, more frequently when they were busy.

TRAVERSE CITY — Northern Lower Michigan hit a milestone in its fight against the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic — 1,000 confirmed cases as of Friday.

Local health officials across the 17-county area reported an increase by 26 cases during the last two days, bringing the region to an even 1,000 cases, according to state and local statistics. State health officials on Friday announced 762 new cases statewide since the day prior, but zero additional deaths.

Munson Medical Center in Traverse City reports only one patient hospitalized with the coronavirus, with none currently at Cadillac Hospital or Grayling Hospital.

Meanwhile, this week the Grand Traverse County Health Department and the Health Department of Northwest Michigan each announced two additional possible public exposure sites:

  • Lucky’s Steakhouse in Gaylord, July 26, 28 and 29, from 2:30 to 10 p.m.
  • Minerva’s Restaurant and Bar in Traverse City, July 31 from 1 to 10 p.m. in the restaurant only, and Aug. 1 from 1 to 10 p.m. in both the restaurant and banquet area
  • North Peak Brewing in Traverse City, July 31 from 3 to 11 p.m., and Aug. 1 from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
  • Bay View County Club in Petoskey in member dining, Aug. 1 and 2, from 6 to 9 p.m.

Anyone at those places at those times are encouraged to self-monitor for symptoms and isolate from friends and family, or even seek testing.

“Most people and most businesses are trying hard to do the right thing, and they are outwardly focused on protecting those around them,” said Lisa Peacock, health officer for six local counties in the region. “Despite the recent challenges of this pandemic, we are more alike than we are different and all of us want for life to be normal again.

“We know that it is exhausting to face restrictions and to have to think carefully when planning events and gatherings, but we also know that Michigan is making progress in the fight against COVID-19,” she said in a statement.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, pointed out this week how the northern Lower Peninsula area has the lowest infection rate in Michigan — 10 cases per million people per day and decreasing.

However, the pandemic situation is more fraught elsewhere in the state.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday extended Michigan’s coronavirus emergency through Sept. 4, enabling her to keep in place restrictions designed to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The governor pointed to an uptick in cases and noted that many students will return to in-person instruction over the next month. Since nearly two months ago, the seven-day statewide average is up six-fold, to about 700 cases per day, according to an Associated Press analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. The rate of tests coming back positive also has trended higher since early June.

“I will continue to use every tool at my disposal to protect Michiganders from the spread of this virus,” Whitmer said in a statement.

The Democratic governor has used the emergency declaration to issue orders to close certain businesses, limit gathering sizes, and require masks in enclosed public spaces and crowded outdoor places.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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