TRAVERSE CITY — Northern Lower Michigan gained another 185 confirmed cases of COVID-19 during the past week, a more than 8 percent increase in total cases in those seven days.
The lion’s share of new cases were reported in Grand Traverse County — 49 new cases in the last seven days and three reported COVID-19 deaths. That’s a nearly 9 percent increase in the county’s cases in a week, and amounts to 25 percent of the county’s deaths.
Other increases in case numbers were reported in Manistee, Charlevoix and Kalkaska counties with 16, 15 and 15 new cases, respectively. Both Cheboygan and Roscommon counties had 13 new cases discovered this week, statistics show.
All other counties in the 17-county region gained 10 or fewer new cases, according to health officials. No other counties had any COVID-19 deaths this week.
There are now nearly 2,200 confirmed cases across northern Lower Michigan and the 185 new cases in the last week amount to more than 8 percent of total cases since the pandemic began in Michigan.
To help monitor the disease in the local population health department, tribal and federal authorities this week announced a partnership to offer three community testing events for COVID-19 next week.
Those seeking a test only need a Michigan driver’s license or state identification card. A doctor’s order is not required, officials said.
The no-cost testing events will be:
- 12 to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, at Turtle Creek Stadium (home of the Traverse City Pit Spitters), 333 Stadium Dr., Traverse City;
- 12 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, at the dune climb parking lot at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, 6748 S. Dune Highway, Glen Arbor;
- and, 12 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, at Crystal Mountain Resort parking lot, 12500 Crystal Mountain Dr., Thompsonville.
The events were organized among multiple agencies, including the Grand Traverse County Health Department, Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, and the Michigan Army National Guard.
The drive-through events will provide diagnostic tests, not antibody testing. Anyone who tests positive for the pandemic disease will be contacted by their health department.
As of Friday, Michigan now has more than 143,100 confirmed cases and nearly 7,000 reported deaths, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.
Johns Hopkins University pandemic disease trackers on Friday reported the case count in the United States is now more than 8 million with more than 218,000 deaths, while the world has had more than 39 million confirmed cases and 1.1 million reported deaths.
Meanwhile, area health officials also this week announced numerous potential additional COVID-19 public exposure sites across northern Michigan.
The sites and times of concerns include:
- Aldi, Gaylord: Oct. 5 from 1 to 2 p.m. and Oct. 9 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
- Flap Jack Family Restaurant, Charlevoix: Oct. 7 from 12 to 1 p.m.
- The Cook’s House, Traverse City: Oct. 7, 8 and 9 from 4 to 11 p.m. each of those three days
- Grand Traverse Industries (2882 Aero Park Dr. site), Traverse City: Oct. 7, 8,9, 12, 13 and 14, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each of those six days
- La Señorita, Gaylord: Oct. 9 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
- Meijer, Petoskey: Oct. 11 from 12 to 1 p.m., and Oct. 14 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
- Kohls, Gaylord: Oct. 11 from 5 to 6 p.m.
- Bee Well Mead & Cider, Bellaire: Oct. 12 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Oct. 13 from 2 to 10 p.m., and Oct. 14 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Medical officials encourage anyone present during those times at those places to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, particularly if not wearing a mask or practicing physical distancing.
Those self-monitoring are meant to keep away from the public, family, close contacts and roommates as much as possible, officials said.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, repeated shaking with chills, headache, sore throat and a new loss of taste or smell.