Over the July 4th weekend, many Michiganders attempted to get back to a normal experience that existed prior to COVID-19.
However, that experience has led to positive tests in the Traverse City area, including Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel.
Positive COVID-19 test at Turtle Creek
A report of COVID-19 exposure at Turtle Creek came on July 5 from the Grand Traverse County Health Department.
According to the Traverse City Record-Eagle, the exposure at the casino came on July 5 between 8-9:15 p.m. at the blackjack tables. The Health Department encouraged anyone who was playing blackjack at the time to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, while also seeking testing and quarantining.
Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel security workers confirmed that the guest who tested positive did have their temperature checked upon arrival, and also wore a mask on the casino floor.
Turtle Creek was working with the health department for contact tracing from the incident.
“While exposure to our employees and guests is limited because of our mask requirements, plexi-shield precautions, social distancing, continual and deep cleaning, and maximized ventilation systems, we want to inform the public as soon as possible to ensure safety on everyone’s behalf,” said Turtle Creek Casino’s CEO Michael Schrader in a press release.
Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel remains open. It has implemented new health policies since reopening.
Along with a required mask on the premises, any guest displaying COVID-19 symptoms aren’t granted entry. Turtle Creek created added social distancing features throughout the gaming floor as well.
Turtle Creek proactive with COVID-19 testing
Prior to Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel’s reopening, the organization set up a free COVID-19 testing site at Turtle Creek Stadium in late May.
The Grand Traverse County Health Department, in a partnership with the Michigan National Guard, conducted the testing.
Turtle Creek Stadium is home to the Traverse City Pit Spitters, a Northwoods League baseball team.
COVID-19 testing for over 800 residents took place during a two-day testing event on May 29 and 30.
Members of the Northwoods League tested positive for COVID-19 recently, delaying the start of the 2020 season for the Pit Spitters. However, play will resume on Sunday, July 19.
Traverse City sees uptick in cases
Aside from the positive exposure at Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel on July 5, the Traverse City area hosted a large gathering at Torch Lake on July 4.
Officials tagged Torch Lake as an exposure site when many people, both local and out-of-towners, gathered at the sandbar. Multiple positive COVID-19 tests arose a week later from those who attended the event.
Health officials indicated that many people at the sandbar were exposed to the virus, but a total number of positive cases couldn’t yet be identified.
According to the Grand Traverse County Health Department, the county has had 100 positive cases of COVID-19 with five deaths since testing began.
Since July 1, the county has seen a surge of cases. Of the 100 total cases, 55 have come over the last two weeks. That includes a high of eight cases on July 9. Tuesday saw that total matched.
As a state, Michigan has been on a steady incline of COVID-19 cases since the start of July. There were 584 new positive cases on Thursday. Despite the growth of cases, daily deaths have remained consistently below 10 for the month.