Ottawa County's COVID-19 Response Updates - Wednesday, April 29, 2020


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Ottawa County I Wednesday, April 29

Latest Video Updates I Previous Bulletins with Spanish Translations
Media Contact: Kristina Wieghmink, OCDPH public information officer I mobile/text 616-510-8523

**The Facebook Live Briefings and Response Update Bulletins will only be distributed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.**

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Click on the dashboard to expand. Data Source: Michigan Disease Surveillance System.


Disability Network Lakeshore (DNL) recognizes that treating individuals with certain disabilities can make this process challenging and we want to be a resource. Our staff have expertise in identifying accommodations for any situation.

The examples below depict circumstances that can negatively impact effective communication and access to care for people with disabilities.

  • People with disabilities (PWDs), especially those with cognitive or intellectual disabilities, may not understand instructions related to things like where to go for testing, or how to proceed if they believe they have COVID-19.

  • Many would not have the energy to stand in the long lines needed to get testing.

  • PWDs are at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 for a variety of reasons - many have breathing difficulties, compromised immune systems, and/or an inability to recognize or evaluate risks, etc.

  • Testing sites may not be accessible to those with mobility issues. Even if they could get in, they may not be able to get to a site as many don't drive.

  • Fear that if the situation comes down to one ventilator between two people, the one with a disability, or the one with the most visible disability will be passed over.

  • Fear of being discriminated against because of advanced age and disability.

  • Many can't afford to pay for treatment if their insurance won't cover the full cost. There are those who have their budgets at the breaking point now and can't afford anything more.

  • PWDs may be uninformed of treatment options, etc. due to an inability to access, comprehend, or act on information.

  • Feelings of having no control often play in decisions of whether to go for treatment or not

If you or your staff encounter any of these situations or something similar, please contact DNL. Working together, we will ensure that everyone has access to care and is educated on how to stay safe and healthy!


The mission of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (D&HHS) is to provide equal communication access, education and advocacy to the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing in pursuit of life’s opportunities. We serve 27+ Michigan counties, including Ottawa County. Programs that we provide include Interpreter Referral Services, Hearing Assistive Technology, Community Education through our ASL Classes, Youth Program, and the Advocacy program. We also offer courses in Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity Training which are customizable trainings that help improve equal access and relationships between Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing individuals and the hearing community.

In addition, during this crucial time our agency has created a place on our website, as well as our Facebook page, that focuses on getting important COVID-19 updates, that is accessible for Sign Language users, to the community. We have been working with local volunteers to provide windowed face masks for our interpreters and hope to soon start supplying these masks to the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Community.




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.


April is Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Awareness Month, and annually this month-long focus on prevention wraps up with the release of the National Kids Count Data. This data looks at the health, safety and well-being of children throughout the State of Michigan. A unique aspect of this data is it provides a county specific look at how children are doing in our local communities.

In Ottawa County, less children are in living in poverty since 2010 (baseline year), with the data showing a 56% decrease in children 0-17 living in poverty, and households qualifying under the federal poverty guideline and ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained but Employed) guideline decreasing by 15% since 2010. While families are doing better economically, the number of children who are confirmed victims of abuse and neglect has been on the rise. In Ottawa County, there has been a 160% increase in cases since 2010. Children placed in out of home placements has also been on the rise, with an increase of 69%. Child Abuse and Neglect comprise 5 out of the 10 Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), situations that cause traumatic stress for children and have long term impacts on health, economic and social wellbeing. Increasing the health of our community requires that we address this trauma and build community resilience.

What do these increases mean for our community? From the Stop Child Abuse and Neglect Council’s perspective, this points to two things 1. We as a community are doing a better job of recognizing the signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect and ensuring children get the help they need, and 2. We need to invest in prevention. Mandated reporters are critical to the health and safety of children. Ensuring everyone who works with kids can recognize the signs a family might need additional support ensures that traumatic stress is reduced, that families get the resources they need to thrive and ensures the safety of children.


Click for the state and local COVID-19 resource list

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Thursday, April 30, 9:00 to 9:30 am Join us for an opportunity to hear updates from Mayor Kevin Klynstra, City Manager Tim Klunder, and City Marketing Director, Abby deRoo, around the City of Zeeland's response to COVID-19. REGISTER HERE 



Friday, May 1, 8:30 to 9:15 am We are committed to keeping you connected to the most important updates from our state government. Join us at Capitol Connections for a virtual opportunity to hear from each of our legislators on COVID-19 updates.    REGISTER HERE 



Friday, May 1, 1:00 to 1:45 pm The Ottawa County Department of Public Health has been tireless in keeping the community informed. They join us this week to speak directly with our members. Come learn about the COVID-19 background and investigation from their Senior Epidemiologist, and get recommendations for prevention and communications  from their Public Information Officer. There will be time for audience Q&A.    REGISTER HERE 


Thursday, April 30 webinar at 1:00pm - Returning to Work Safely Toolkit. We have been gathering the best resources and creating some of our own for this manufacturing-focused Returning to Work Safely Toolkit. Our team will walk through these resources with you and preview what we are hearing from the public sector.


Governor's Press Briefing Today


Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun provided an update on COVID-19 in Michigan. Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Jeff Donofrio and Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber, who serves on the Michigan Economic Recovery Council, joined the governor at the press conference.


Governor Gretchen Whitmer Signs Executive Order Ensuring Equitable Access to Health Care Resources During COVID-19 Pandemic 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer today signed Executive Order 2020-64, which reaffirms the state’s commitment to equitable access to health care, and requires health care facilities to develop protocols that ensure non-discrimination in the event demands for critical health care resources exceed availability.  

The order affirms the right to receive medical care without discrimination based on stereotypes, assessments of quality of life, or judgments about a person’s relative “worth” based on the presence of disabilities or other factors. It also requires all health care providers to take steps to ensure non-discrimination and support individuals’ functional needs to the fullest extent possible.  


The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency Continues to Serve Veterans Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The Director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) wants Michigan’s 600,000 veterans to know the MVAA continues to connect veterans and their loved ones to the benefits they have earned through their service.

“While these might be trying times, the MVAA is focused on serving as the central coordinating agency to local, state and federal veteran benefits, and connecting those benefits to our deserving veterans,” said Zaneta Adams, Army veteran and Director of the MVAA. “We will continue to conduct our outreach efforts while practicing the social distancing guidelines ordered by the Governor.” 

Key to the MVAA’s outreach efforts is the Michigan Veteran Resource Service Center (MVRSC) at 1-800-MICH-VET. This 24-hour call center is staffed by trained technicians who are knowledgeable in all areas concerning veteran benefits and resources. Veterans can call to request copies of their discharge documents, inquire about available benefits including medical, compensation and pension, or to be connected to a VA-certified Veteran Service Officers who can walk them through the claims process.  


Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency

If you are a veteran seeking help in filing claims or appeals, please contact your Veteran Service Officer (VSO). If you don’t yet have a VSO, please call 1-800-MICH-VET and you will be directed to someone who can assist you.

Experts in our Veteran Resource Service Center stand ready to answer any veteran-centric questions about benefits and services for health care, education, employment and other quality-of-life issues. Just call 1-800-MICH-VET, email at or go to for more information.

If you are a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, please call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, chat online at, or text 838255 to receive free, confidential support.

MVAA has also created a two-page document called Mental Health Resources for Veterans During COVID-19 that may be beneficial to veterans and their families.


Governor Whitmer Announces “Futures for Frontliners, a G.I. Bill Program for Essential Workers 

Program Will Provide Tuition-Free Postsecondary Education Opportunities for Essential Workers; Governor Announces Other Initiatives to Protect Workers and Their Families During the Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced a series of initiatives to help Michigan workers and their families during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including the "Futures for Frontliners” program to provide a tuition-free pathway to college or a technical certificate to essential workers who don’t have a college degree. This includes workers like the ones staffing our hospitals and nursing homes, stocking the shelves at grocery stores, providing child care to critical infrastructure workers, manufacturing PPE, protecting public safety, picking up trash, or delivering supplies. 


Governor Whitmer Takes Significant Step to Make Child Care Affordable and Accessible for Families 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced a $130 million investment to make child care more affordable and accessible for Michigan families during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 “Child care providers have been critical partners in helping our state respond to COVID-19, and we are extremely grateful for their service,” Governor Whitmer said. “Every child care provider and early educator is important in giving parents some peace of mind while they are delivering essential services to our state at this challenging time.” 

Michigan has created the “Child Care Relief Fund” to provide direct, non-competitive grants to child care providers. These funds help ensure:  

  • Child care providers currently serving essential workers remain open, and costs associated with providing care during the COVID-19 pandemic are not passed on to essential workers.
  • Child care providers can stay afloat during the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” state of emergency.
  • Child care is more affordable to families now, and as our economy begins to reopen.
  • Child care providers across the state have the resources needed to reopen for Michigan’s workforce when the recovery process of the current COVID-19 pandemic begins and more families are in need of child care options.


MDHHS Develops Resource Guide to Support Family Well-being During COVID-19 Emergency

The Children’s Services Agency within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has developed the “Family Well-Being Guide,” a new resource with information on how everyone can support children, parents and other caregivers during the COVID-19 emergency.

The guide features practical tips on ways to support vulnerable families. It includes recommended questions to help understand the needs of potentially at-risk caregivers and children. It also provides statewide resources available to families who might have concerns about food, housing, mental health, finances or safety. 

See the image below and READ MORE.


Click for more information about the resource.

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