Ottawa County's COVID-19 Response Updates April 1, 2020


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April 1, 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

Ottawa County COVID-19 Statistics

As of April 1, 2020, Ottawa County has 32 positive COVID-19 cases, zero deaths and approximately 22% of positive 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

Helping Each Other Through the COVID-19 Crisis

Stress, anxiety and coping with emergencies and outbreaks can be concerning. We’re seeing people in our community who have heightened anxiety over job loss and social isolation. This is expected during crises but we want you to know that you’re not alone. Ottawa County has mental health experts and caring community members who are wanting to help. We have several mental health counseling services available in our community that offer telehealth. Many of them provide free or very low-cost services.

Supporting Children and Teens

Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared.

Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way.
Some common changes to watch for include

  • Excessive crying or irritation in younger children
  • Returning to behaviors they have outgrown
    (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting)
  • Excessive worry or sadness
  • Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
  • Irritability and acting out behaviors in teens
  • Difficulty with attention and concentration
  • Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
  • Unexplained headaches or body pain
  • Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
    (Visit for guidance on talking with youth and substances)

How to Support Kids

  • Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand.

  • Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.

  • Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.

  • Try to keep up with regular routines. If schools are closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.

  • Be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Connect with your friends and family members.

Learn more about helping children cope 
CDC Stress and Coping Resources for others
CDC Stress and Coping Resources for Pregnancy/Breastfeeding Parent’s Guide I Helping Kids Cope I Pregnancy/Breastfeeding

county updates

cmh nr

Community Mental Health of Ottawa County (CMHOC) buildings are closed for walk-ins and visitors, but CMHOC is continuing to provide services by appointment or through telehealth. Telehealth means staff will provide services via phone calls, email and virtual meetings such as Zoom. During this time, CMHOC is continuing to accept new consumers to services. If you need behavioral health services, please call our Access Center at 616-393-5681. They will talk with you to determine the next steps.

If you are in a mental health crisis and need to speak with someone, please call our 24-hour Crisis Line at 866-512-4357. We have clinicians available 24/7 to provide confidential and anonymous support. CMHOC reminds people to pay attention to their mental health needs.

We will continue to provide services throughout this emergency. We are continuing to connect with people via telephone, virtual meetings and/or email. You are urged to call your assigned worker if you need help or support. We will get through this together.


Message from the Sheriff's Office 

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office is reminding people to meet deputies outside of structures for non-priority calls. This social distancing step will help to keep officers healthy and the department at full capacity.

oc stays

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 

OSH - instagram

Click the featured image to share.


The May 5th special elections will be held primarily by mail. This impacts Grand Haven Area Public Schools, Hudsonville Public Schools and Kenowa Hills Public Schools. Yesterday, all eligible voters were mailed absentee ballot applications. Voters should sign and return the application in the prepaid envelope. They will then receive a ballot mailed to them. Complete and return the ballot in the prepaid envelope. READ MORE


Parks Department

Public Health and the Parks are still moving ahead with Step it Up, with some changes to how the program looks this year. Step it Up is a an eight week walking program where participants track their minutes of activity. Registration is available at Unlike other years of Step It Up, there will not be group walks this spring. Participants can still look forward to setting and achieving fitness goals, discovering new County parks, health tips, healthy eating ideas, incentive prizes, motivation and accountability. There is also a Workplace Wellness component this year. Reach out to the County if you would like more details on that. READ MORE

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

  • The funding collaborative as part of (Community Foundation of Holland/Zeeland, Grand Haven Area Community Foundation and the Greater Ottawa County United Way) raised approximately $400K and gave away close to $200K to help support agencies on the front lines of addressing human services needs. LEARN MORE about donating.

  • The level of collaboration taking place is amazing, as usual for Ottawa County. On daily phone calls for, pantries partner and place orders with Meijer; sharing oversupply of donated goods with one another.

  • A campaign filled food boxes and delivered them to Community Action House, and more than 300 boxes were donated so far by community members. For each box donated, a group of companies and individuals matched the $45 donations. Lakewood Construction, PeopleIT, Holland Doctors of Audiology and The Insurance Group, Stacy Kamphuis and Mike/Rachel Goorhouse were the donors.

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

New Resources Information

  • Essential Workforce: Connections to Childcare - Flyer I Website
    Call/Text 1-844-233-2244 or

  • Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce Webinar
    Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act
    Friday, April 3 at 11:00 - 11:45 am - REGISTER HERE

  • PMBC COVID-19 Emergency Access & Retooling Grants
    Increasing Michigan production to meet critical supply needs amidst COVID-19 outbreak: Do you have the capability to produce critical health & human service supplies, but need assistance in scaling or purchasing equipment? Pure Michigan Business Connect is providing grant assistance to help companies or non-profits begin or ramp up production of critical supplies across a broad range of product categories. LEARN MORE

  • Community Resources List English I Spanish

County Department 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

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Governor Whitmer to Provide Updates on the State's Response

  • Press Briefing - Thursday, April 2 at 10:30 AM
    Governor Gretchen Whitmer
    MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun
    Read More

  • Town Hall - Thursday, April 2 at 7 PM 

Social Media Live Streaming at

U.S. Census Critical for Rural Communities

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is reminding Michiganders—particularly those who live and work in rural communities—of the importance of completing the 2020 U.S. Census.

“The Census is important to the entire state of Michigan, but it’s especially important to our rural communities,” said MDARD Director Gary McDowell in a new video. “It helps determine how much money Michigan receives for essential services like food assistance, health programs, and education. For farming and rural communities, the Census affects things like grants and loans for community facilities, rental assistance, and cooperative services like MSU Extension. For our state and our rural communities to be successful, it is very important that every person is counted.”

The Census is conducted only once every 10 years, so the data collected this year will be used to determine how much federal assistance is given to rural programs, such as business and industry loans, rural rental assistance, community and facilities loans, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), water and waste disposal systems, and many others. The Census also shapes Michigan’s congressional representation and impacts legislative districts.

The Census collects information about you and the people who live with you. All the information collected by the Census is confidential and will not be shared with anyone. It's mandated by the U.S. Constitution in Article 1, Section 2; the U.S. has counted its population every 10 years since 1790.

April 1 is recognized as National Census Day, and this is the first time that residents can respond online or by phone. The Census also can be completed using the traditional paper form. In May, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin following up in person with households that haven’t responded to the census.

For more information about the 2020 U.S. Census, visit or

DIFS' Call Center Working Remotely to Assist Consumers with Insurance And Financial Services Questions And Complaints

The Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) announced that its call center continues regular operations and remains prepared to assist Michigan consumers with their insurance and financial services concerns, especially those individuals impacted by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

“DIFS’ Office of Consumer Services is working remotely and stands ready to help Michiganders in need of assistance, especially with issues related to their health insurance and other coverages and financial services,” said Anita Fox, Director of DIFS. “At a time when consumers may be concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on their lives, DIFS is here to help.” 

The call center consists of representatives that can assist with insurance, banking, credit union, mortgage and other consumer financial concerns. The Office of Consumer Services also has analysts available to review complaints against insurance or financial service entities. DIFS encourages consumers to first attempt to resolve disputes directly with their insurance and/or financial service provider. If a resolution cannot be reached, DIFS Office of Consumer Services can help try to resolve your dispute. The live call center can be reached by calling toll-free at 877-999-6442, and is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.  

“Michigan consumers will not see a change in the way they obtain help from DIFS as we work remotely,” added Fox. “DIFS live call center team will continue to answer phones and address their needs.”  

DIFS stands ready to assist with:

  • Questions about health insurance coverage for COVID-19 treatment or testing.
  • Concerns about access to telemedicine.
  • Questions about the servicing of loans or mortgages.
  • Questions about banks or credit unions and the availability of financial services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Insurance agent or consumer finance licensing questions.
  • Questions about insurance policies, grace periods, and premium payment extensions in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Appealing an adverse decision regarding a health care claim under the Patient’s Right to Independent Review Act (PRIRA). 

For more information visit:, call toll free at 877-999-6442 or email

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at and  

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