Ottawa County's COVID-19 Response Updates - Wednesday, May 13, 2020


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Ottawa County I Wednesday, May 13

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

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Ottawa County has two additional deaths to report. A female in her late 50s and one in her 80s, both with underlying health conditions. Our thoughts go out to their family and friends during this difficult time.


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

Testing - Treatments - Vaccines - Fraud

As the country progresses through the COVID-19 response, there have been many developments and misinformation about testing, therapeutics and vaccines. We want to provide you with credible information from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who has been working with other federal, state and local agencies and public health officials across the country. This continued critical work is to protect public health. Major focus areas of the FDA’s response include increasing the availability of testing, therapeutics and devices such as ventilators and personal protective equipment, and many other important items necessary for the response. 

Some Highlights of Recent FDA Activities:

(Click for the full summary.)

  • Ensuring Timely Availability of Accurate and Reliable Tests

  • Accelerating Availability of Medical Equipment and Products for Treatment

    • Authorized EUAs and issued policies to help increase the availability of personal protective equipment, such as respirators, gowns, surgical masks and more.

    • Monitoring nearly 80 COVID-19 drug development programs that are in progress, with multiple candidates under investigation that may be able to effectively treat patients before a vaccine is developed.
  • Actively Monitoring the Medical Product and Food Supply Chains to Address Imbalances

    • Continue to screen and monitor millions of domestic and international products in the medical supply chain.

    • Worked with federal partners to ensure the delivery of 3.1 million cloth face coverings to over 1,000 grocery store chains and small grocery stores for employee use.

  • Halting Individuals or Companies Selling Products with Fraudulent Claims

    • Issued hundreds of abuse complaints resulting in the marketplaces removing listings for 260 products that claimed to diagnose, treat or even cure COVID-19.

    • Issued 42 health fraud warning letters to sellers of unapproved products with bogus COVID-19 claims, including homeopathic drug products, cannabidiol products, nasal sprays, colloidal silver products, herbal
      products, chlorine dioxide products and others.

FDA Combating COVID-19 with Therapeutics Factsheet

FDA Combating COVID-19 with Medical Devices Factsheet


Events - Gatherings - Crowds

Our community has been working so hard and contributing so much to slow the spread of COVID-19. We understand many people are eager to go places and gather with friends and family members, but we must stay focused on disease prevention methods to minimize the risk of further infection and ensure the health system capacity is not overburdened. By keeping with physical distancing and wearing a face cover in public, along with frequent hand washing and disinfecting, we can continue to make progress and work to avoid a second wave of infection. Our actions make a difference whether we slow or increase the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

We know that the virus spreads person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. Public gatherings increase the likelihood of infection. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you could still be a carrier of the virus. Please protect others, especially those who are at a higher risk of severe complications from the disease; such as the elderly, those with underlying health conditions, those who have limited access to resources and care, and many others.

How to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
LEARN MORE: English I Spanish



Deaf and Hard of Hearing - COVID-19 Information

2-page Resource  I  4-page Resource



Click to watch the video.

Parks Updates

Since the initial Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order issued on March 23, there have been additional guidelines that that have affected park operations. Executive Order 2020-77 amended the scope of the original shelter-in-place order and extended the duration to May 28, 2020. This order identified parks and park employees as essential (more detail below).

The Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission has been working hard to keep parks open and safe. At this time, all park properties remain open, but some amenities such as playgrounds, rental facilities, restrooms, dog parks and beaches, and our Nature Center are closed. At some parks, one-way trails were implemented to help with social distancing and parking has been limited to avoid overcrowding.

New research and information about COVID becomes available every day and in light of updated guidelines from the CDC related to pets, the Grand Ravines Dog Park and the off-leash dog beach at Kirk Park have been temporarily closed. Both will re-open when these recommendations are lifted. The decision to close these amenities is in-line with the majority of the park systems state-wide. Please note: The CDC does not suggest that pets are a threat to their owners or other park visitors, but rather that there is a strain that can affect pets. This is an important distinction.

Both park properties remain open to the public. Dogs are still welcome on-leash at Grand Ravines outside of the dog park area. With the Kirk Park dog beach being closed, its rules will temporarily fall in line with Ottawa County’s other Lake Michigan parks, where dogs are not allowed from May 1-September 30. It is possible that Kirk Park will open to dogs sooner than September 30. Please note with continued beach erosion, there will likely be some restrictions in place after re-opening. Ottawa County Parks has many dog-friendly parks and open spaces, please visit our website for more information.


Click for the state and local COVID-19 resource list

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Did you miss the workshops?







Is the PPP still puzzling you? Join us to hear from Brad Haverkamp, Community President of Chemical Bank. He will share the latest updates and answers to frequently asked questions from the SBA and U.S. Department of Treasury. Have questions? Have them ready for audience Q&A. Friday, May 15, 10:00 - 10:30 am REGISTER HERE 


Governor's Press Briefing Today


Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun provided an update regarding the state’s response efforts to COVID-19. They were joined by Maureen Frances, a local realtor and Rachel Lutz a small business owner to talk about the MI Safe Start plan.

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State Supports $1.5 Million Fund to Help Small
Businesses Recover, Pivot in Response to COVID-19

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) partnered with Michigan Women Forward today in announcing the creation of the $1.5 million Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund to help entrepreneurs and small businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19 recover from the outbreak, as well as assist them in meeting increased demands in support of COVID-19 response efforts.

“As Michigan begins to focus on economic recovery efforts across the state, it is critical that we make sure support and relief are accessible for all entrepreneurs and small businesses in need,” said LeTasha Peebles, grant manager for the MEDC. “We’re grateful for the partnership of Michigan Women Forward in supporting this fund, which will play a key role in ensuring every member of our state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has the tools and support they need to recover from this crisis.”  

The Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund will provide recovery grants of $1,000-$5,000 and microloans of $5,000-$10,000 to small businesses who are in need and have been adversely affected by COVID-19 closures, with at least 150 businesses statewide expected to benefit. Small businesses interested in applying for support through the Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund can do so now by visiting  


Medicaid COVID Coverage Update

Effective for dates of service on or after March 10, 2020, in addition to currently covered Emergency Services Only (ESO) services, medically necessary COVID-19 testing and treatment services will be provided to ESO beneficiaries.

This includes:

  • Evaluation and management services provided in an outpatient setting, such as a physician's office or clinic. These services may be provided in person or via telemedicine/telephone per current Medicaid policy;
  • Diagnostic testing (including COVID-19 laboratory testing and radiology services);
  • Medications;
  • Medical supplies;
  • Coverage includes any treatment described above as a precautionary measure for an anticipated positive test result; and
  • Follow-up services, such as outpatient visits and medications, may be covered for individuals who test positive for COVID-19.


Michigan Financial Institutions Step Up to Support Small Businesses Amid COVID-19 Crisis through the Paycheck Protection Program 

More than 120 of Michigan’s state-chartered banks and credit unions have stepped up to provide Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to support small businesses facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ninety percent of Michigan’s 68 state-chartered banks and nearly half of Michigan’s 137 state-chartered credit unions have participated in the PPP to support Michigan small businesses. 


Governor Whitmer Extends Executive Order Enhancing Hospital Capacity, Efficiency   

Governor Gretchen Whitmer today signed Executive Order 2020-82, extending a prior order temporarily lifting regulatory requirements on hospitals and care facilities to help ensure adequate personnel and facilities to serve patients during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.    

The reissued order authorizes the Michigan Departments of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) to waive certain requirements to expedite bringing additional care facilities online as needed. The order also empowers LARA to ensure an adequate supply of care providers during the emergency by granting the department additional flexibility in its decisions about licensing, registration and workflow requirements. 


Governor Whitmer Extends Executive Order Allowing Administrative Hearings by Phone, Video Conference 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-80, which continues to allow certain state administrative hearings to be held by video conference or phone in place of in-person hearings. This order is effective immediately and remains in effect through June 8, 2020 at 11:59 pm. 


Michigan Workers Provided $5.62 Billion in Unemployment Benefits

The Unemployment Insurance Agency provided an update on unemployment claims related to COVID-19 in Michigan. Since March 15 at the onset of the crisis, 1,717,555 claimants have applied for state and federal benefits, with $5.62 billion in benefits paid to 1,374,751 of workers. Roughly 92% of eligible claimants have received benefits or have been approved to receive benefits. 


State of Michigan to Participate in Federal Work Share Program to Protect Workers, Help Address Budget Deficit   

The State of Michigan announced that it would participate in the federal Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) Work Share program to help offset budget implications as a result of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this program, impacted state employees will take two temporary layoff days per pay period beginning Sunday, May 17th until July 25th resulting in up to $80 million in decreased wage costs.  


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