Ottawa County's COVID-19 Response Updates - Wednesday, April 8, 2020


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Updates I Tuesday, April 8

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Media Contact: Kristina Wieghmink, OCDPH public information officer I mobile/text 616-510-8523

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Health officials have the tremendous responsibility of balancing a person’s confidentiality and providing public information. Data may be released when health officials determine there is reasonable privacy protection. The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) released ZIP codes with laboratory-confirmed positive COVID-19 cases to communicate openly with the public. However, given the relatively low positive case counts in Ottawa County, OCDPH has not released the exact number of cases per ZIP code.  

Maintaining patient privacy is challenging with connected and smaller communities, particularly with fluid social media conversations. Assumptions can be made about individuals who may have been ill, whether it was COVID-19 or not. Similarly, with other infectious disease investigations--whether it’s chickenpox, flu or chlamydia-- public health officials share limited information about a case. Collecting demographic data is used as a public health epidemiological surveillance tool for public health planning and decision-making. 

Whatever data are or are not shared by any jurisdiction does not change public health official’s mitigation strategies nor the Governor’s Stay Home-Stay Safe executive order. We appreciate everyone’s patience and working with us during these challenging times.

As of April 8, 2020, approximately 800 test results have been reported to OCDPH with 56* of those positive for COVID-19. Additional commercial testing counts are being collected, indicating the testing number could be much greater. Approximately, 23% of positive cases have been hospitalized. 

We are saddened to report there has now been one death in Ottawa County. A female in her late seventies with underlying health conditions passed away today. Our hearts go out to her family and friends during this difficult time.

Positive case demographic data in the tables below and at
*Case counts may differ from MDHHS if a case gets reassigned to another jurisdiction.


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.

I think I've been exposed Guide I When is it safe to leave home Guide

FAQs I How to Make & Wear Face Coverings - English I Spanish

Homemade cloth face coverings are not considered personal protection equipment (PPE) since their capability to protect is unknown. These can only be effective when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning (soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub) and maintaining 6-feet physical distance among people to slow the spread of the virus. Critical PPE supplies must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and first responders and not used by the general public!



Important Message

We urge people to stay home especially if they have been drinking. We are dealing with incidents daily that involve intoxicated drivers. These incidents place Officers at risk, as well as the people who we need to have contact with because of their poor choice. Intoxicated drivers are lodged at the county correctional facility which places correctional staff and the inmate population at risk as well. All of this can be avoided by making the responsible choice to Stay Home when you have been drinking.

On another note, we are also encouraging those who are out driving to be mindful of the increased amount of pedestrian traffic because of the current situation. Students are off from school and families are outside getting some exercise which results in more pedestrians on our streets.

Please watch your speed and pay attention to crosswalks
so we can all get through this safely!

Urgent Reminder from Parks & Recreation

We want residents to use and enjoy our parks and open spaces and the Stay Home 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, 40 properties are totaling 7,000 acres, including areas allowing dogs.

We are monitoring the situation and are taking steps to reduce overcrowding, including restricting overflow parking, limiting parking and adding COVID trail etiquette signage at busier locations, and working in partnership with the Sheriff’s Office to monitor traffic and overcrowding. We will continue to do everything we can to keep our parks open.

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.

More park locations and information at

Click for the state and local resources list.

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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 


Click the featured image to share.


Thursday, April 9 at 3 pm

Governor Whitmer to Give Update on State’s COVID-19 Response

LANSING, MICH. Thursday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun will provide an update regarding the state’s response efforts to COVID-19. READ MORE

Social Media and Live Streaming:  

AUIA Extends Call Center Hours,
Adds Staff
 to Better Serve Customers

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) is adding staff and hours to better serve an unprecedented increase in customers filing unemployment claims as a result of COVID-19. The UIA has extended call center hours by an hour every day 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and it remains open from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday. Customers in the call center and online chat queues before closing time will have their calls or chats resolved that day.

The UIA continues to increase call center resources and has nearly quadrupled staffing levels over the last several weeks. Normal staffing levels are around 130 employees. By March 30, approximately 300 staff were answering calls and by the end of this week an estimated 500 employees will be dedicated to the call center. Hundreds of additional staff will be added to the call center in the coming weeks.

The best way to file a claim is online at, where the process takes on average 20-25 minutes.

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