Ottawa County's COVID-19 Response Updates March 31, 2020


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March 31, 2020 Updates

Latest COVID-19 Update Videos I Public Health | County Operations & Spanish
Media Contact: Kristina Wieghmink, OCDPH public information officer I mobile/text 616-510-8523

Community Resources List English | Spanish

PH updates

Case Counts

As of March 31, 2020, Ottawa County has 31 positive COVID-19 cases, zero deaths and approximately 23% of cases have been hospitalized. Data are updated daily by 4 pm at

Since there is evidence of COVID-19 community spread, every location should be considered a potential risk. People of any age, even those who do not have any symptoms, could be a carrier of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. We all must do our part and Stay Home – Stay Safe – Save Lives. To slow the spread of the virus, we must adhere to social distancing and exceptional hygiene to minimize exposure and break the chain of infection.

CDC - What to do if you are sick  I  MDHHS Exposure Guide

COVID-19 Infection

Public health officials are continually learning more about this new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This includes its contagiousness and how long the virus can linger in the air or remain on surfaces.

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

This can happen between people who are in close contact with one another. Droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes (generally, up to six feet) may land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into their lungs. Less commonly, the coronavirus can spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects when a person may touch their mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.

Sneezing and coughing can generate some aerosols, but they mostly generate larger fluid particles or droplets that can contain the virus. A recent National Institutes of Health study indicated aerosolized COVID-19 could remain in the air for up to three hours and the study also detected the virus could remain on various surfaces for times ranging from four hours to 72 hours. However, there is no evidence yet from this preliminary research on how likely a person is to actually get sick with COVID-19 by contacting a surface or breathing in the same air. Research continues on COVID-19 infectiousness and so far, the evidence indicates the highest risk is being within six feet for a prolonged period of time with someone else who has COVID-19.

What we know, at this point, is that COVID-19 is more contagious and deadlier than flu. A person infected with the new coronavirus can infect, on average, two to three people. Over time, each of those people can also infect two to three people and cause an exponential spread of disease in a population that has little to no immunity to it. We will provide more information as health professionals learn more about this new virus.

More about How Coronavirus Spreads


COVID-19 Fatality Rates

Preliminary data indicate the risk of death with this new coronavirus infection is commonly estimated at 1%. This is less than it was for SARS at approximately 11% and MERS at about 35%, but will likely be higher than the risk from seasonal flu, which averages about 0.1%.

The risk of death very much depends on a person’s age and overall health. Children appear to be at low risk of severe disease and death. Older adults and those who smoke or have chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease or lung disease have a higher chance of developing complications like pneumonia, which could be deadly.

With health officials gaining a better understanding of how the virus spreads, it reinforces the importance of social distancing and other health-promoting behaviors.

county updates

County Services

Ottawa County continues to do business – online, by phone and by email. To make doing business easier, we have removed the convenience fees for online services while our lobby is closed. Ottawa County continues to be open for business – online, by phone and by email. Get more information at


Be sure to use the hashtag #OttawaStaysHome on all your social media platforms and tell us why you stay home and what you’re doing to occupy the time. The county will share its favorite posts, images and videos. Be creative! Visit 

Parks Department

We want people to use and enjoy our parks and open spaces and the Stay Home – Stay Safe – Save Lives order allows for this. But we ask them to use social distancing. Parks are not areas of congregation at this time. If a parking lot is half-full or more, choose a different destination. You will most likely want to avoid Rosy Mound, Grand Ravines – including the dog park, Olive Shores and Mount Pisgah. Altogether, there are 40 properties totaling 7000 acres, including areas allowing dogs. They are listed at

If it becomes evident that people continue to disregarding effective social distancing while visiting the Ottawa County parks and open spaces, we will have no other choice but to close them to protect the health of our community.

Updates from

Local pantries have seen upwards of four times the demand last week over previous weeks and it is critically important we keep them well stocked. Please visit to see a list of frontline agencies and the most critical food and household good that they need right now or consider donating financially, so people can purchase these goods.

To help with isolated seniors who are at high-risk for COVID-19, we launched a grocery shopping model where seniors can Call 211 and request help. If they can afford their groceries, but would rather not go out because of safety precautions, a volunteer will do the shopping. The senior can reimburse the volunteer upon delivery. These volunteers have all had background checks and are credentialed through the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office, and they have badges when delivering groceries.

Pat McGinnis and the City of Grand Haven are referencing voter registration lists to identify older adults so city staff can call and check on their needs. This is encouragement for the whole community. Please call on those in your network, family and neighbors and make sure they have what they need. You can also direct people to Call 211 for any needs.

Blood supply is low and we strongly encourage people to continue to donate blood. Visit Versiti and American Red Cross for more information. According to the FDA, blood donation centers can facilitate the safe donation of blood because they are skilled in infection control practices and already have procedures in place to prevent the spread of infections. Donating blood is safe and takes only a little of your time. At many blood donation centers, those who are interested in donating can make an appointment to minimize the time it takes to donate blood. LEARN MORE

More community updates to come.

To get involved in the amazing collaborative community efforts, visit or

City of Grand Haven Updates

Local officials are available around the clock to offer support and assistance during the COVID-19 crisis. We are repeating the message to stay in place and avoid direct social contact. City staff remain on the job, either from home or in the field. You’ll see regular Public Safety patrols and Public Works continuing to work to provide essential services. Behind the scenes we have support personnel making sure that people are getting paid and supplies continue to flow. Please review these periodic updates and share them on social media and with friends and family members.  I  Facebook

Resources for Businesses

Wednesday, April 1, 1:00 to 1:30 pm
Learn how many therapists are continuing to provide therapy as well as ways in which people can access help.

Thursday, April 2, 11:00 to 11:45 am
Dan Papineau from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce walks us through Governor Whitmer's Stay Home, Stay Safe order and answers questions.

Wednesday, April 8, 11:00 to 11:30 am
Scott Patchin will share tips on how to reset your EOS mindset, using the core tools during times of crisis and will provide 5 IDS (identify, discuss, solve) questions you should be asking yourself during this time.

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Pure Michigan Invites Fans to Experience the State Virtually

#VirtualPureMichigan provides inspiration, while encouraging action to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 through social distancing

LANSING, MICH. Pure Michigan is going virtual. From live cams featuring beautiful beaches to virtual tours of unique exhibits, Pure Michigan is helping bring the state’s educational, outdoor and cultural experiences to life at home through its new #VirtualPureMichigan campaign. New virtual experiences will be posted regularly across Pure Michigan’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels in the coming weeks as people are being encouraged to Stay Home and Stay Safe to combat the continued spread of COVID-19.

“During these extraordinary times, we want to continue to do what Pure Michigan does best – inspire people – while offering alternative ways to experience the stay at home and follow social distancing guidelines,” said Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “By sharing the tremendous virtual offerings our travel partners across the state have available, we are hoping that individuals can enjoy, learn and explore our beautiful state from the comfort of their own homes as they look ahead to future adventures.”

Organizations around the state are offering virtual experiences for all to enjoy, including:

  • Pure Michigan is providing live web camera viewings for people to take a peek at destinations including Alpena, Holland, Frankenmuth, West Michigan and the Mackinac Bridge. 
  • The Ann Arbor Film Festival is going virtual now through March 29. The entire festival will be live-streamed for free, including all submitted films and follow up discussions with participating filmmakers. The full festival schedule can be found at org/live-stream-schedule
  • The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is an internationally recognized cultural destination that immerses visitors in the stories of ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation that helped shape America. In addition to exploring the digital collections made available on the museum’s website, virtual visitors can now explore the Mathematica exhibit online.  

  • Get a sense of spring with a live stream of the butterfly exhibit at Frederik Meijer Gardens.
  • Take a virtual field trip of the Detroit Institute of Arts with Detroit Public Television.
    • The Michigan History Museum offers information about Michigan’s rich past, from the time of the state’s earliest people to the late 20th The five-floor museum offers a virtual tour for folks to explore and learn about Michigan’s first people, the Anishinaabe and ending at the mid-20th

    • The Michigan Science Center offers a virtual tour for kids of all ages to explore and makes for an educational experience adhering to STEM guidelines, which many schools practice. Kids can explore the health and wellness gallery to learn about the human body, the lunar and space gallery to learn about space travel and more. 

    • The Menominee Range Historical Museums in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula encompasses three different museums for guests to explore. Each museum offers a virtual tour including The Menominee Range Historical Museum, which features more than 100 exhibits depicting local history from Native American inhabitants through the early years of the 20thcentury; The World War II Gilder and Military Museum, which features one of only seven fully-restored CG-4A gliders in the world, as well as extensive displays highlighting military service in the area; and the Cornish Pumping Engine and Mining Museum, which showcases the largest steam-driven pumping engine built in the United States. 

    • Paddle out into the St. Mary's River from Voyager Island and Rotary Park in Sault St. Marie on this 360 virtual guided tour. This water trail gives you a front row seat to Great Lakes freighters passing through the channel on their way to and from the Soo Locks.

    • Manistee County in Northern Michigan is rich with history and natural beauty that can be explored through the Visit Manistee Natural Wonders Tour.

    • PBS television program Under the Radar Michigan features the people, places and things that make Michigan a great place to be. Michiganders can check out episodes that feature Michigan’s Museums, stories from the U.P., downtown Detroit and more.
  • The website continues to be a resource for future trip planning, featuring unique destinations throughout the state, road trip and itinerary suggestions and the ability to order the free Pure Michigan Summer Travel Guide – also available digitally. Additionally, is now featuring ways to Travel Michigan Virtually While Planning Your Vacation.

    In the coming days and weeks, the Pure Michigan social channels will be posting virtual experiences all across the state using the #VirtualPureMichigan hashtag. Follow along, or share your favorite Virtual Pure Michigan experience, on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.