Ottawa County's COVID-19 Response Updates - Monday, May 4, 2020


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Ottawa County I Monday, May 4

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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.

The dashboard was last updated on Sunday, May 3, 2020. The Michigan Disease Surveillance System electronic lab processing system was down for most of the day. For that reason, we are not able to provide updated case data at this time. We understand how useful these data are and we hope the issue is resolved before our next update. 

A Message from the Food Safety Team

Restaurants are permitted to remain open as an essential business providing take-out, curbside or delivery options. Licensed food service establishments in Ottawa County are permitted to remain open but must adhere to the physical distancing requirements set forth in the order. These include fixed establishments, ice cream shops and food trucks; providing the proper licensing has been obtained and they pass the required food safety inspections. LEARN MORE

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Loneliness and Social Isolation Linked to Serious Health Conditions

As we are still working through the Stay Home – Stay Safe period, loneliness and social isolation in older adults are serious public health risks. This can affect a significant number of people in the United States and put them at risk for dementia and other serious medical conditions such as premature death, heart disease, stroke, anxiety and depression. A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine points out that more than one-third of adults aged 45 and older feel lonely, and nearly one-fourth of adults aged 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated. Older adults are at increased risk for loneliness and social isolation because they are more likely to face factors such as living alone, the loss of family or friends, chronic illness and hearing loss.

Loneliness is the feeling of being alone, regardless of the amount of social contact. Social isolation is a lack of social connections. Social isolation can lead to loneliness in some people, while others can feel lonely without being socially isolated.

Additionally, the report highlights that immigrant and LGBT populations experience loneliness more often than other groups. Latino immigrants, for example, “have fewer social ties and lower levels of social integration than US-born Latinos.” First-generation immigrants experience stressors that can increase their social isolation, such as language barriers, differences in the community, family dynamics, and new relationships that lack depth or history, the report states. Similarly, gay, lesbian and bisexual populations tend to have more loneliness than their heterosexual peers because of stigma, discrimination and barriers to care.

If you know of someone experiencing loneliness during this time of physical distancing, be sure to call, text, video chat, email or mail a card to let them know you’re thinking about them. If you or someone is in need of assistance, please call 2-1-1. 

READ MORE I Area Agencies on Aging I Eldercare Locator I National Council on Aging

Did you miss the West Coast Chamber of Commerce Virtual Meeting with the OTTAWA COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH?



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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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Home Depot and Lowe’s donate supplies needed for instruction.

With school buildings closed for the remainder of the school year, students ages 18-26 with special needs in the Young Adults Services (YAS) program continue to learn work and life skills at home that will allow them to enter adult life as independently as possible, with help from dedicated instructors thinking outside the box.

Thirty students in the YAS program, a service of Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, are completing woodworking projects at home that continue to build skills typically learned in the classroom. While working on the projects, students are following verbal and written directions, learning to use tools, and interacting with their teacher and the community. The lasting benefit of these skills including growing verbal and written skills, a sense of independence, building fine and gross motor skills, and interacting with the public through sales of their products.

Student-built pieces include inspirational signs and birdhouse kits created by the instructors and bird feeder kits donated by Home Depot and Lowe’s, both of which also donated building tools and supplies to help complete the kits. Instructors currently have enough inventory to give each student one project a week until the end of the school year.



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Jim Eickhoff, President and CEO of Creative Dining Services and John Kesterke, Director of Marketing of Gordon Food Service, will lead a discussion around best practices and trends for restaurants to reopen. They'll also describe some long term impacts that will influence the future of the industry. Time allotted for Q&A. Tuesday, May 5, 9:00 - 9:30 am. REGISTER


Join us to hear from Paul Nemschoff, Vice President Global Strategy and Marketing at Haworth, as he shares best practices that help your business balance the needs of people and space in the workplace. An organization's greatest investment is its people—and an environment that protects employees also empowers them do their best work. Friday, May 8, 10:00 to 10:30 am. REGISTER HERE


Governor Whitmer's Briefing May 4, 2020


Governor Gretchen Whitmer and MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun provided an update on COVID-19 in Michigan. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson joined the governor at the press conference to speak about the May 5 elections.


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Guidelines on Non-essential Procedures Include
Not Delaying Important Medical Care 

Current restrictions on non-essential medical and dental procedures were put into place in late March to ensure healthcare systems had enough staffing, bed capacity and personal protective equipment (PPE) to care for all patients, as well as to limit the spread of COVID-19. Further guidelines were recently shared with providers to address questions about how patients can be served safely during this time.  

Executive Order 2020-17 was meant to be flexible so patient care can be considered on a case-by-case basis to determine which services are needed more immediately and which can be safely delayed without resulting in a decline in health. 

It is also important for patients to understand they should not delay important medical care, especially emergency care. If there are signs of potentially life-threatening disease, such as a heart attack or stroke, do not delay testing or treatment.  


Governor Whitmer Extends Executive Order Protecting Vulnerable Residents in Congregate Care Settings 

Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-72, which extends until May 31, 2020 the rules regarding entry to care facilities designed to protect vulnerable populations and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The order replaces the governor’s previous order, 2020-37. The order also requires employees of facilities covered by the order to wear face coverings while working within a facility. 


Observance of Mental Health Month Has Added
Significance During COVID-19 Crisis

Resources available at Stay Home, Stay Well website

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) stands with mental health advocates and organizations in recognizing May as Mental Health Month. Observed nationally since 1949 and traditionally symbolized by a green ribbon, the mental health awareness effort sets a goal to combat stigma and provide support and education on matters pertaining to mental illness. It also aims to draw attention to suicide, which can be brought on by mental illness, in the hopes of further development of suicide prevention strategies.  

During the COVID-19 crisis, mental health is increasingly becoming a focus of attention. In response, information about available mental health resources can be found through the state’s Stay Home, Stay Well initiative. These efforts are to help build resilience in Michigan residents trying to cope emotionally with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and include links to crisis help lines, guidance documents, videos and other mental health resources at  


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