Ottawa County's COVID-19 Response Updates - Fri-Sun, May 15-17, 2020


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Ottawa County I Fri-Sun, May 15-17

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

**The Facebook LIVE briefings at 4:30 pm and update bulletins are moving to only two (2) days per week starting this week - Tuesdays and Fridays**

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Unfortunately, we have to report three additional deaths. A female in her late 70s, female in her 60s and a male in his late 60s, all 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.

Featuring the Data Dashboard in Spanish

Now available in Spanish: Ottawa County COVID-19 data - positive cases, deaths, hospitalizations, recoveries, testing and age, sex, race and ethnicity case information. To access, click the tab below the dashboard "Ver Panel en Español"

Ve los últimos datos del COVID-19 en el Condado de Ottawa: Casos positivos, muertes, hospitalizaciones, recuperaciones, pruebas y edades, sexo, raza e información étnica en


Why have Ottawa County's positive cases increased so much lately?

The increased availability of testing contributes to the number of positive cases increasing over the last several weeks. This is an indicator of progress being made in identifying infections to better slow the spread but it is also evidence the virus is still circulating in our community. To help aid in disease investigation, please be sure to answer your phone and return any calls from the Ottawa County Department of Public Health. We have a team of specialists diligently conducting contact tracing and continuing to work on containing the virus.

It is encouraging to see the hospitalization rate go down and the number of recovered cases increase. However, it is still imperative people continue to keep physical distance and wear a face cover in public and frequently wash hands and disinfect surfaces to make even more progress. As more and more businesses open, there is a greater risk of person-to-person infection of the virus and our actions make a difference whether we slow or increase the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

MediLodge At The Shore News Release

MediLodge At The Shore has been working with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health on disease investigation. As of Friday, May 15, 2020, the long-term nursing facility has 22 COVID-19 positive residents. READ MORE

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We added more information to our website's Michigan COVID-19 Business Response Center. This includes Health Practices from the Michigan Economic Recovery Council to guide various sectors as they are phasing into reopening. Additionally, below are resources on how local public health works with businesses on prevention and what to do if a positive case is at the workplace. For more information, please call (616) 396-5266.


GVSU students donate appliances to Ottawa County to help those impacted by COVID-19

Story by: Meagan Saxton in University Communications

Microwaves and refrigerators that once belonged to students who lived in Grand Valley housing were donated to the Ottawa County Department of Public Health to help vulnerable populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The county received more than 20 appliances during an organized pickup held shortly after May 10, the last day students returned to campus to retrieve their personal belongings.

Rence Meredith, Facilities Services maintenance supervisor, said department of public health officials approached GVSU and asked about appliances students bring with them to campus. Those appliances are occasionally left behind, Meredith said. A coordinated effort among Facilities Services, the Grand Valley Police Department, and Housing and Residence Life garnered 15 microwaves and six refrigerators to donate. Colleen Bailey, associate director of Housing and Residence Life, said a message was sent to students who still had items to retrieve, and within a few hours, donations came in.

“We ask for something and our students are willing to contribute,” Bailey said. “They have limited resources, but that’s just the Grand Valley way.”

Maintenance staff members relocated the donations from the various living centers across campus to one central location for pick-up. Jennifer Sorek, Ottawa County public health preparedness coordinator, said the department is appreciative of the generosity and support of GVSU students. She said the county has been working with community partners to ensure safe and comfortable isolation and quarantine conditions for vulnerable populations.

“The microwaves and refrigerators will be placed in temporary housing locations for individuals who are impacted by COVID-19, but cannot return home or may be homeless,” Sorek said.


Be Safe and Healthy Farmers Market Shoppers

Spring and summer are great times to take advantage of all the healthy, fresh and local foods in Ottawa County but please shop safely. The following COVID-19 customer guidelines are provided by the Holland Farmers Market who developed them in accordance with Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-60 and are recommendations from the Michigan Farmers Market Association. For questions or concerns, please contact or call 616-355-1138.


Click for the state and local COVID-19 resource list

English I Spanish


Did you miss the workshop?




Ways Small Businesses Can Prepare to Lead Their Teams into a Post-Pandemic World

Wednesday, May 20, 11:00 - 11:30 am. Shannon Burkel, Chief Client Officer at AXIOS HR, will outline 5 crucial considerations for small businesses seeking to grow as economic restrictions lift. These considerations are intended to help employers maximize their focus on developing people in five specific areas. REGISTER

Getting Back to Work and Operating Safely: A Health Care/Business Update

Thursday, May 21, 1:00 - 1:45 pm. Join the West Coast Chamber and Lakeshore Advantage to learn how our local health care systems and employers are open and operating safely. Learn about the current capacity and capabilities of our local hospital systems, understand what you should put in place to keep your team healthy and working, and get recommendations for healthy practices to implement at your workplace. Featuring Panelists: Allan Hoekstra, EDP Management, Ron Lewis, Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital, Dale Sowders, Holland Hospital and PJ Thompson, Trans-Matic Inc. REGISTER


Friday, May 15, Governor's Briefing

Announced Process to Chart Path for the Safe and Equitable Reopening of Schools

Whitmer signs Executive Order to create a Return to Learn Advisory Council

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the creation of the Return to Learning Advisory Council via Executive Order 2020-88, formalizing a process for determining how schools may be able to reopen in the fall. The panel – which will be comprised of students, parents, frontline educators, administrators and public health officials – will be tasked with providing the COVID-19 Task Force on Education within the State Emergency Operations Center with recommendations on how to safely, equitably, and efficiently return to school in the Fall. The State of Michigan will also partner with a national nonprofit organization called Opportunity Labs to bring national expertise to this project.



Click image to watch the briefing.

Treasury: Business Taxpayers Can Make Sales, Use and Withholding Tax Payments in June

Payment Plan Information Coming Soon

In support of businesses navigating their way through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Michigan Department of Treasury today issued a notice that provides business taxpayers additional time pay their Sales, Use and Withholding (SUW) taxes.

Business taxpayers who were scheduled to make SUW tax payments due in March, April and May – including quarterly filers – can postpone filing requirements until June 20, 2020. The state Treasury Department will waive penalties and interest on those deferred payments.


MIOSHA Workplace Guidelines,
New Hotline to 
Protect Michigan Workers

Employers must take necessary precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19

As the curve continues to flatten and many businesses reopen their doors, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) within the Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) issued workplace guidelines for employers and employees and created a new hotline, 855-SAFEC19 (855-723-3219), to answer guideline questions and further protect Michigan’s workforce from the spread of COVID-19.  

Additionally, MIOSHA provides further clarification the construction and manufacturing sectors must take to protect workers that have returned to work. The State of Michigan’s Workplace Safety Guidelines can be found on LEO’s homepage at   


Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Expanding Telehealth Options for Michiganders 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-86, which expands telehealth options for Michiganders by authorizing and encouraging health care providers to use these services when appropriate and after getting consent from patients. The order takes effect immediately and continues through June 10, 2020. 


Governor Whitmer Extends Executive Order Temporarily Suspending Evictions 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-85, which temporarily extends protections for tenants and mobile home owners from being evicted from their home during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. 


MDHHS Statement on COVID-19 Case Reporting

The COVID-19 case count reported May 14, 2020 showed a significant increase over reports from previous days. Several factors are contributing to this increase including backlogged results being reported electronically into the Michigan Disease Surveillance System (MDSS) and increased testing at correctional facilities across the state. 

The report of 1,191 cases included cases from commercial labs Garcia, a lab with significant presence in Michigan’s correctional facilities and corporate environment, Orchard Technology and P4. Results from these labs were being entered manually, which led to a backlog, and are now being reported electronically into MDSS. 

This backlog in reporting did not result in delays of notification to individuals with positive results as those results were transmitted separately to health care providers who are responsible for notifying individuals about their test results. 


Intimate Partner Violence During the Pandemic

myPlan is an app to help with safety decisions if you, or someone you care about, is experiencing abuse in their intimate relationship. 

Need help? Know Someone Who Does?

National Domestic Violence Hotline: Call 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224

Love is Respect National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: Call 1-866-331-9474 or TTY 1-866-331-8453

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network’s (RAINN) National Sexual Assault Hotline: Call 800-656-HOPE (4673) to connect with a sexual assault service provider in your area. Visit to chat one-on-one with a trained support specialist, any time 24/7.


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Michigan Financial Institutions Urged to Protect Customers’ COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) issued a bulletin strongly encouraging financial institutions to protect customers’ COVID-19 economic impact payments from overdrafts and fees.

“Michiganders have been greatly impacted by COVID-19, and we must do all we can to help those who are suffering financial losses due to this pandemic,” said Gov. Whitmer. “Our state’s financial institutions have been good partners in their communities, and we encourage them to continue to assist their customers with the financial challenges they face.”

Relief funds, distributed by the federal government as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, are intended for necessities, such as food, medicine, and housing during this public health emergency and disaster. Guidance issued in today’s bulletin encourages Michigan financial institutions to treat those deposits in the spirit of the disaster relief legislation so Michiganders can use the funds on those important living expenses. Institutions are strongly urged not to access customers’ COVID-19 stimulus payments to satisfy overdrafts or for overdraft fees, ATM fees or late payment fees.


Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Orders Extending Capacity for Disaster Relief Child Care Services for Essential Workforce, Protecting Residents and Staff in Long-Term Care Facilities 

 Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-83 and 2020-84, both of which were effective immediately and replace her previous orders 2020-51 and 2020-50, respectively.  Executive Order 2020-83 continues the expanded access and capacity for child care services, giving priority to essential workforce, and extends until June 10, 2020. Executive Order 2020-84 continues to protect residents and staff in long-term care facilities and extends until May 20, 2020.  


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