Ottawa County's COVID-19 Response Updates - Wednesday, April 15, 2020


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Ottawa County Updates I Wednesday, April 15

Latest Video Updates
Public Health I County Operations, Sheriff's Office & Spanish Translation
Media Contact: Kristina Wieghmink, OCDPH public information officer I mobile/text 616-510-8523

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Click the dashboard to expand. Only laboratory-confirmed cases are displayed. Case counts may differ from those reported by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services if cases get reassigned to or from different jurisdictions. Data Source: Michigan Disease Surveillance System.

Dashboard is updated daily at

Who qualifies as a COVID-19 case?

  1. Every disease that becomes reportable to public health has a definition of who qualifies as a case. Those definitions typically include levels such as confirmed, probable or suspect.

  2. COVID-19 is a new disease with new case definitions being developed. Up until this point, a case has been someone with an approved laboratory test that is positive for COVID-19; designating them as a confirmed case.

  3. Other people who had exposure to, and symptoms consistent with, COVID-19 were not able to be considered a confirmed case because they did not have the laboratory test needed to define them as such.

  4. As we learn more about this new coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently expanded the case definition to include a second category called a probable case. These are generally the people described in number 3.

  5. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recently announced that local jurisdictions can expand testing to more people since the supply of tests and laboratories has increased.

Ottawa County may see case numbers increase

since now being able to count probable cases and the expanded
ability to test more people leading to more confirmed cases.

We will provide more information as it becomes available.

Help slow the spread of COVID-19

People should continue to follow social distancing guidelines, practice exceptional hygiene, wear a cloth face covering when in public and only leave their home for essential reasons. This will minimize the number of people who get sick.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, cough and shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing. If you have questions about testing, please call the following screening hotlines: 

  • Holland Hospital at (616) 394-2080

  • North Ottawa Community Health System at (616) 935-7810

  • Spectrum Health at (616) 391-2380


Stay Home - Stay Safe . . .
but what if staying home isn't safe?

Content contributed by Resilience: Advocates for Ending Violence
A local agency supporting survivors of domestic and sexual violence

“The level of uncertainty this pandemic is creating, paired with layoffs and mandatory stay at home orders have resulted in an escalation of violence and abuse for many of the families in our community whose homes are not a safe haven,” said Beth Larsen, Executive Director of Resilience. “We are witnessing an alarming increase in the severity of cases and in the number of requests we’re receiving for emergency safe shelter. Domestic violence can escalate to lethal levels when an abuser fears a loss of control over their partner, therefore making safe assessment/referral critical.”

When safe places are limited

"Many domestic violence survivors experience their place of employment as a safe place; similarly, places of worship offer sanctuary, hope and human connection," said Holly Jasinski, Resilient Spaces Program Facilitator at Resilience. "With nearly all businesses and community gathering places temporarily closed, there simply are not places to go for respite or to reach out for help."

Since the Stay Home order was instated, Resilience has seen a 66% increase in requests for emergency shelter. This has proven to be a challenge, as emergency shelter is full nearly year-round even without a pandemic. With domestic violence cases on the rise, Resilience is working hard to find alternative safe arrangements for those fleeing violence and are ensuring services go uninterrupted.

Supporting Survivors Amid COVID-19 - LEARN MORE

Help is still available amidst state restrictions and the COVID-19 response

To enhance these potential lifelines for survivors, the Resilient Spaces training program has been helping local agencies and community leaders recognize the signs of domestic violence, implement procedures for responding safely and connect individuals and families in need of critical resources.

Learn more about how to help domestic violence survivors during the shelter in place orders, by contacting or (616) 212-9366.  Online training and one-on-one consultations are available via Zoom. I Safe Email:
24-Hour Helpline 1-800-848-5991 I Spanish Helpline: 1-866-728-2131

When Staying Home Isn’t Safe
How COVID-19 Impacts Domestic Violence Survivors
Remaining Calm and Grounded During a Global Pandemic


Increased Incidents of Domestic Disputes
and Domestic Violence During the Stay at Home Order

Since the Stay at Home Executive Order was issued in Michigan, the Ottawa County Sheriff Office has responded to a drastically increased number of domestic disputes and/or violence. Since the March 23, 2020 order was enacted, deputies have responded to 182 incidents of domestic disputes or arguments, these incidents did not involve an assault. However, deputies in Ottawa County were called to police 297 domestic violence cases where an assault may have taken place. The domestic dispute and domestic violence incidents in 2020 represent a 41% increase over the same period last year.

"The concern of law enforcement and many others is that offenders are in the homes for greater periods given the stay at home order," said Captain Bennett with the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office. "The current pandemic situation is undoubtedly causing stress in family situations."

The Sheriff’s Office takes domestic violence and abuse very seriously.
If probable cause is present, a defendant will be charged and lodged in the Ottawa County Jail until such time the case is reviewed by the prosecutor and an arraignment is completed by the courts. We encourage all victims/survivors to report incidents of violence or abuse, and also use our great community partner services to help manage stress during these very difficult times.

Personal Protection Orders

While courthouse operations are limited, the Trial Division of the Ottawa County Circuit Court IS processing Personal Protection Orders (PPOs); including the initiation PPOs, hearings on denied PPOs and arraignments on alleged violations of PPOs. Forms for filing a PPO are available at and searching PPO (or by searching “Ottawa County PPO”on Google or your preferred search engine). Please be sure to read through the entire web page. There are forms for various situations.

To make an appointment to initiate a hearing for a PPO,
contact or 616-846-8320.

Click for the state and local COVID-19 resource list.

English I Spanish


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 

ottawa stays

Click the featured image to share.


Governor Whitmer Press Briefing - April 15, 2020


Click the image to go to the briefing video.

News & Information from the State

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Congressman Huizenga Telephone Town Hall

On Thursday, April 16 at 7pm, Congressman Huizenga will be hosting a telephone town hall conversation with residents across West Michigan to provide an update on the latest developments surrounding the coronavirus at the federal level and take questions from across the Second District.

REGISTER to receive a phone call and participate at Huizenga.House.Gov/live.