Health officials warn northwest Michiganders of potential exposure to COVID-19 on May 29

If you visited one of these businesses in Petoskey or Gaylord, you may have been exposed to COVID-19

A close-up of COVID-19 under microscope, courtesy of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' Rocky Mountain Laboratories (NIAID-RML)

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan has identified public locations that may have had low-risk exposure to COVID-19 on May 29.

The following locations may have allowed for potential exposure to COVID-19 on May 29:

  • Odawa Casino, Petoskey between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Pine Squirrel Bar and Grill, Gaylord between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Paul’s Pub, Gaylord between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Officials say the locations were visited by someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and was contagious during their visit.

Anyone who was present at the listed locations should self-monitor for 14 days, officials said.

The health department listed the following steps for self-monitoring:

  • Monitor for symptoms consistent with COVID-19 which include fever, cough, shortness of breath but also may include other symptoms such as fatigue, loss of taste and smell, and diarrhea.
  • If you are self-monitoring and develop symptoms, you should call your primary care physician first or the Michigan coronavirus hotline at 1-888-535-6136 for testing.

Widespread COVID-19 testing is available, even for those without insurance. Anyone who wishes to be tested may call the Michigan coronavirus hotline at 1-888-535-6136 or visit to find an appropriate testing location.

Businesses in northern parts of Michigan were allowed to partially reopen amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on May 22. As of Monday businesses around the state have been cleared to reopen with restrictions.

MORE: Michigan Gov. Whitmer lifts stay-at-home order across state, reopening restaurants, more

Officials still warn residents to stay home, especially when sick, and follow social distancing and personal hygiene guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • Spread is possible before people show symptoms. People who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus and can still pass it on to other people.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Click here for more guidelines from the CDC.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about COVID-19 here.

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.