Ottawa County's COVID-19 Response Update - Monday, March 23, 2020

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Ottawa County COVID-19 Response

Updates for Monday, March 23, 2020

  • 13 positive COVID-19 cases in Ottawa County

    Positive case counts will be updated daily by 4 pm on the website. Only positive case counts will be listed since COVID-19 laboratory testing has significantly increased throughout Michigan, making it difficult to know the exact number of submitted tests. With each confirmed positive case, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) communicable disease team and epidemiologists conduct investigations to identify individuals who may have come into close contact with a case. If you have been identified to be at risk, the OCDPH will contact you and take the immediate and appropriate steps to monitor, quarantine or recommend you for testing. The OCDPH continues to collaborate with the state health department and health care providers to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. People should continue to practice disease prevention measures and follow state guidelines and restrictions.

    Testing information: Based upon the increase in COVID-19 cases statewide, people should act as though the virus may be present when they are in public places and should be taking all recommended prevention measures, including self-monitoring for signs or symptoms of COVID-19. If you feel well, you do not need to be tested. Mildly ill people are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider by phone for guidance. This will help prevent the additional spread of COVID-19 and save critical healthcare resources for those at high risk and who may need supportive care. DO NOT go in public even for essential services if you are not feeling well.

  • Homemade face masks

    Ottawa County has had an overwhelming response from community members who want to help during the COVID-19 restrictions, particularly the need for medical supplies. With there being a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) across the United States, we recognize that many people want to make face masks for high risk, vulnerable populations such as first responders, hospitals, shelters, long-term care facilities and other front-line staff.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that fabric masks are a crisis response option when other supplies have been exhausted. Keep in mind, homemade masks are not considered PPE since their capability to protect the health care provider or others is unknown. However, according to the CDC, if the only option for a mask is to have a homemade mask, these can only be effective when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning (soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub). If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with COVID-19 infection or wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.

  • Governor's Executive Order - Effective 12:01 am March 24, 2020

    To combat the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan, today Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the "Stay Home - Stay Safe" executive order - effective at 12:01 a.m. on March 24, 2020, through April 13, 2020, all Michigan businesses and operations must temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. In addition, all Michiganders must stay in their homes unless they’re a part of the critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity, or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family, like going to the hospital or grocery store.  

Please join us Monday - Friday, and as needed, for the Ottawa County Facebook Live updates at 4:15 pm (English and Spanish). If you cannot make the event, it will be in the posts and distributed via email bulletin with the updates for that day. To stay-up-to-date on Ottawa County's response, visit the county's Facebook page or go to


Previous media briefings and updates

Media contact: Kristina Wieghmink, OCDPH Public Information Officer, Phone/text (616) 510-8523