Ottawa County's COVID-19 Response Updates - Wednesday, April 22, 2020


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Ottawa County I Wednesday, April 22

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

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Click on the dashboard to expand. Data Source: Michigan Disease Surveillance System. All data are for laboratory-confirmed cases only, at this time.

Antibody Testing and Diagnostic Testing

Antibody testing, also known as serology testing, checks a sample of a person’s blood to look for antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19. These antibodies are produced when someone has been sick with the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working with other federal agencies to see if the tests can become more available to healthcare providers.

We do not know yet if the antibodies can protect someone from getting sick again with this virus or how long antibodies to the virus will protect someone. Scientists are researching to answer those questions. Antibody tests aren’t used to determine if someone is currently sick with COVID-19 because it takes one to two weeks for someone to make antibodies in their body. This means the antibody test detects the body's immune response to the infection caused by the virus rather than detecting the virus itself. 

To know if you currently have the virus, you will need to call one of the screening phone numbers listed at If they recommend you get tested for the virus, a healthcare provider will need to collect a sample from your nose.

FDA - Learn More  I  FDA Test ValidationCDC - Learn More

Predictive Models for Pandemics

In predicting the future of the COVID-19 pandemic, many key assumptions have been based on limited data. Models can be useful tools but should not be overinterpreted, particularly for long-term projections or subtle characteristics, such as the exact date of a peak number of infections. Mathematical models can be profoundly helpful tools to make public health decisions and ensure optimal use of resources to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, but only if they are rigorously evaluated and valid and their projections are robust and reliable.

Some of the limitations of predictive models for pandemics include: 

  • Models change daily, often with dramatic shifts, and are best (reasonably accurate) for short term estimation.

  • National and state models may incorrectly estimate sub-epidemics in local areas. Ottawa County has different population characteristics (age, chronic conditions, access to care) than Oakland, all of which affect the transmission, impact and timeline of the pandemic.

  • Models are best for comparing the general impact of various interventions, like social (physical) distancing, rather than predicting specific numbers and dates.

  • When using models, always assuming the worst-case scenario can lead to inefficiencies and competition for resources while assuming the best-case scenario can lead to disastrous under-preparation.

Source - JAMA: Predictive Mathematical Models of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Below is a snapshot of a model exploring the effects of social distancing (in Michigan), created by a team of scientific professionals at the University of Michigan. This takes a look at how reducing the number of close contacts on a normal day is the primary strategy or intervention to show lessening the burden of disease. This example can help guide plans and decisions as we all respond to a pandemic. EXPLORE


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It is normal to feel stressed because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a variety of resources related to stress and COVID-19. LEARN MORESHARE


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How are you staying occupied during Stay Home - Stay Safe? Why do you stay home? Use the hashtag OttawStaysHome to share and visit to view some of the community posts Ottawa County has shared.

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In the Know Virtual Meeting with Congressman Upton

Missed the presentation today?
View the recording here and learn more about OAISD's response to COVID-19.


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

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Please call first - services and programs may be limited, at this time.


Governor Whitmer's Press Briefing Today



Health Disparities Resources

At this time in Ottawa County, the data does not indicate disproportionate numbers of cases among a specific race or ethnicity. Ottawa County has too few cases for an accurate understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting our community members of various demographic groups. However, we want to keep providing information on health disparities to better understand health equity in Ottawa County.

Here are some resources from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ Public Health Administration and Office of Equity and Minority Health (OEMH) to help further our understanding of racial disparities:

News & Information from the State

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