Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update - April 18, 2021

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April 18, 2021 I Ottawa County COVID-19 Update

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) sent this weekly update to those who signed up for vaccine notifications or COVID-19 updates. You may also sign up to receive information about other news topics from Ottawa County Parks, Sheriff’s Office and more. See the end of this email to make any changes to your subscription preferences.

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Watch the latest COVID-19 video update on YouTube and Facebook. Followed by an interview with public health nurses Tamara Drake, Julie Kuiper and Stephanie Goris who share how the communicable disease team has responded to the pandemic and has been working with our community, long-term care facilities and seasonal workers. 

Watch more COVID-19 updates presented by Medical Director Dr. Paul Heidel, Health Officer Lisa Stefanovsky and Senior Epidemiologist Derel Glashower. Click here to watch. 


Click to watch the briefing.

Wednesdays at noon we will provide the latest Ottawa County COVID-19 updates on YouTube.com/miOttawa and Facebook.com/miOttawaHealth - Get a Reminder. The Wednesday, April 24 broadcast will include an interview with Hope College Upward Bound students who are a part of a new documentary about youth and COVID-19 vaccinations. The documentary project is created and produced by Cynthia Martinez.

All Individuals Aged 16 or Older are Now Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccination

The OCDPH expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination to all individuals aged 16 years or older. Although eligibility is now open, the OCDPH will continue to prioritize appointments based on those with the highest risk for severe disease outcome and death; older adults, those with underlying medical conditions and frontline/essential workers who may have more exposure to the virus. For individuals already registered with us to receive appointment notifications, you will receive an appointment invitation from SmartTracker. This is a new system we implemented to run the notification and scheduling process more efficiently. You do not need to register again.

For a list of other locations also offering vaccination, please visit www.VaccinateWestMi.com/register


Click the image to learn more.

State Updated Quarantine Duration to 14 days for All Close Contacts

Fully vaccinated people who meet criteria are no longer required to quarantine following an exposure to someone with COVID-19. Individuals should keep their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to confirm their exemption from quarantine.

The immune period begins two weeks after vaccination:

  • If given a two-dose vaccine series (Pfizer, Moderna) immunity builds two weeks after the second dose.
  • If given a one-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson) immunity builds two weeks after the that dose.

Based on the schedules above, the individual may be exempt from quarantine, provided the individual does not have any COVID-19 symptoms. This exemption does not apply to vaccinated inpatients and residents in health care settings.

More MDHHS isolation and quarantine information on pages 11-15 here.

Learn more at Michigan.gov/ContainCOVID.

If vaccines are working, why is Michigan top in the country for COVID-19 cases?

Data show that the majority of new cases are among younger adults, most of whom are not vaccinated. Other possible reasons for the increase in cases in Michigan:

Below is an Ottawa County graph (page 11) showing the highly vaccinated age groups (65 years and older) have lower COVID-19 case rates. These data strongly suggest the vaccine is protecting people. Click here for similar statewide data (page 42).

case trend

Click the graph to enlarge.


Story content courtesy of Fox17 News.

Teenagers vaccinated at SpartanNash clinic

“It was a pretty easy decision,” said Alexis McKinney, a senior at Grandville High School. “I just wanted to be as protected against COVID.”

“It’s been a bit difficult since I am involved in extracurriculars,” said Abby Kachel, a junior at Jenison High School, when describing the past year. “I kind of miss having that closeness with everybody along with seeing family all the time.”

“You hear a lot of anecdotal information, and you’re not really sure if some of the things you hear are correct, so I did a little bit of research online,” said Beth Kachel, Abby’s mom. “There didn’t seem to be any bad effects for teenagers, and I discussed it briefly with her. I think we both believe in science… I mean they’ve been making vaccines for years, so I felt like we could trust [it].”


Ottawa County health officials pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine out of an abundance of caution

The OCDPH paused all use of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA and CDC have recommended this pause, along with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Of the nearly 7 million J&J doses administered so far in the United States, a small number of reports of a rare and severe type of blood clot have been reported in people after receiving the J&J COVID-19 vaccine. The health department is stopping all use of the J&J vaccine until more is known. There is no impact on the use of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect people from getting sick or severely ill with COVID-19. 

What if I already received the J&J vaccine?

  • For people who got the vaccine more than a month ago, the risk to them is very low, at this time.
  • People who recently got the vaccine—within the last few weeks—should be aware of any symptoms. If you have received the J&J vaccine and develop severe headache, backache, new neurologic symptoms, severe abdominal pain, leg pain or swelling, shortness of breath or new/easy bruising, contact your healthcare provider and seek medical treatment.
  • Importantly, we are not seeing these events with the other two vaccines--Pfizer or Moderna.
  • People who have vaccine appointments with the other two vaccines should continue with their appointment. 

Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines, and these vaccines have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. This monitoring includes using both established and new safety monitoring systems to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices met last week to review the cases and data. The committee will meet again on April 23 to continue discussions on the next steps for the J&J vaccine use.


Does the COVID-19 vaccine cause infertility?

NO. The COVID-19 vaccine will not affect fertility. The COVID-19 vaccine encourages the body to create copies of the spike protein found on the coronavirus’s surface. This teaches the body’s immune system to fight the virus that has that specific spike protein on it. Confusion arose when a false report surfaced on social media, saying the spike protein on this coronavirus was the same as another spike protein called syncitin-1 that is involved in the growth and attachment of the placenta during pregnancy. The false report said that getting the COVID-19 vaccine would cause a woman’s body to fight this different spike protein and affect her fertility. The two spike proteins are completely different and distinct, and getting the COVID-19 vaccine will not affect the fertility of women who are seeking to become pregnant, including through in vitro fertilization methods. READ MORE

 Do I have to pay for the COVID-19 vaccine?

NO. COVID-19 vaccines are provided at no cost, regardless of a person's immigration or health insurance status. Some health systems may bill insurance for administrative fees but if you don’t have health insurance or if your insurance denies the claim, you will not be billed. They may also ask for your social security number for vaccination records but it’s not required to receive the vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccination providers cannot:

  • Charge you for the vaccine.
  • Charge you directly for any administration fees, copays or coinsurance.
  • Deny vaccination to anyone who does not have health insurance coverage, is underinsured or is out of network.
  • Charge an office visit or other fee to the recipient if the only service provided is a COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Require additional services in order for a person to receive a COVID-19 vaccine; however, additional healthcare services can be provided at the same time and billed as appropriate.

COVID-19 vaccination providers can:

  • Seek appropriate reimbursement from the recipient’s insurance plan or program (e.g., private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid) for a vaccine administration fee. However, providers cannot charge the vaccine recipient the balance of the bill.
  • Seek reimbursement for uninsured vaccine recipients from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s COVID-19 Uninsured Program.


Have you been vaccinated or will you when it's your turn? Why?

Watch the video to hear Pete and Kathy share their experience at an OCDPH vaccination clinic and why they got vaccinated. 

pete kathy

Click the image to watch the video.

Read more stories on page 2 or Hear stories from people in our community who've been vaccinated or plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it's available to them. To be featured in an Ottawa County bulletin, Facebook post or YouTube channel please send your quote, photo and/or video to kwieghmink@miottawa.org


More Local News

  • Spectrum Health Healthier Communities panel of community and clinical experts explore some ways to connect with and engage younger Michiganders on the topic of vaccinations and staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic in general. WATCH

  • The Alliance for Cultural and Ethnic Harmony hosted a discussion "Exploring Vaccine Skepticism in the Hispanic/Latinx Community" with a panel of professionals from health care, law, religious institutions and OCDPH epidemiology who shared information and addressed questions and concerns. WATCH

  • In Spanish: Vaccines for the Undocumented. OCDPH Community Health Worker Valente Morales interviews with The Informant to discuss COVID-19 vaccination and disease prevention. WATCH

  • Need Testing? No Cost Community Sites. Rapid antigen testing for anyone with or without symptoms (parental consent required for minors). Samples are taken by nasal swab. Results within 15-30 min. No appointment needed • No doctor’s order needed • No insurance needed • No Fee • Please bring a form of ID • No pets allowed • Wear a face covering. Find locations, dates and times at www.miOttawa.org/covid19

  • The Macatawa Area Express (MAX) and Allegan County Transportation are offering free rides for residents to vaccination appointments. To schedule a trip, call MAX at 616-355-1010. LEARN MORE - Kent County Vaccine Transportation Access Information HERE.

More COVID-19 Vaccine Information Resources

VaccinateWestMi.com FAQs I Deaf & Hard of Hearing FAQ Videos
CDC COVID-19 FAQs Flyer I CDC FAQ Website

Alternative Languages: Arabic | Spanish | Korean | Russian | Simplified Chinese | Tagalog | Traditional Chinese | Vietnamese

COVID-19 Vaccinations in Ottawa County

OCDPH last received a total of 7,180 first and second Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses. 

Total Ottawa County To-date:

  • Received: 123,310 first and second COVID-19 vaccine doses distributed to Ottawa County health care systems, health department, family practices, Federally Qualified Health Centers and pharmacies as of April 16, 2021. 

  • Administered: 174,930 first and second doses have been administered to Ottawa County residents as of April 17, 2021.

  • Coverage: Nearly 48% of all Ottawa County residents have had at least their first vaccine dose, and 76.5% of Ottawa County residents who are 65 years of age and older have had at least their first vaccine dose. 

More vaccine data from MDHHS here

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Click the image to open the MDHHS vaccine dashboard.


Providing Financial Assistance for COVID-19-Related Funeral Expenses

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many families. At FEMA, our mission is to help people before, during and after disasters — and we are dedicated to helping ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the virus. This is why FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.

To apply for assistance, call FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline at 1-844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585) Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET. Information is provided in several languages both by telephone and the website. 


Find the latest Ottawa County COVID-19 response updates at www.miOttawa.org/covid19

Ottawa County COVID-19 Data Hub

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COVID-19 Vaccinations in Michigan

  • MI Distributed: 7,561,625 first and second COVID-19 vaccine doses.
  • Administered Statewide: 5,788,119 first and second COVID-19 vaccine doses.
  • Coverage: 44% of all Michigan residents have had at least their first vaccine dose, and 71.5% of Michigan residents who are 65 years of age and older have had at least their first vaccine dose as of April 17, 2021. 

    More Vaccine Data from MDHHS here.

MDHHS extends epidemic order, strengthens mask requirement for children 

Order expands mask requirement to children ages 2-4 as recommended by American Academy of Pediatrics

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) extended its Gatherings and Mask epidemic order. The Order – which preserves the strongest public health order in the Midwest – is designed to balance day-to-day activities while controlling the spread of COVID-19 and saving Michiganders’ lives. It includes expansion of mask requirements to children ages 2 to 4 to further protect the state’s residents.

Although progress has been made, it is crucial that Michiganders continue to mask up and socially distance as the state takes steps to get back to normal. 

Expanding the mask rule to children ages 2 to 4 requires a good faith effort to ensure that these children wear masks while in gatherings at childcare facilities or camps. It takes effect April 26, 2021. This addresses the increase in cases among younger Michiganders and follows recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.

The order extension is through May 24. An infographic that highlights order requirements can be found on Michigan’s COVID-19 website.



The antigen tests that schools and sports organizations are using under recent MDHHS orders operate very similar to a pregnancy test. The nasal swab is swirled around each nostril for five seconds, inserted into a small card, six drops of reagent are added to a hole that exposes the swab's tip and you wait 15 minutes to see if a line appears. A second line means "positive" and no second line means "negative". The result is recorded, and the card with swab and reagent is thrown away and sent with the rest of that day's tests and the PPE worn by the testers to a medical waste disposal, either through a service the school contracts with or perhaps the local hospital's medical waste service.

If the result is positive, the tester reports that to MDHHS with name, date of birth, address, phone number for follow up and contact tracing, but no one gets the actual swab or any material from it. If it is negative, it is only reported to MDHHS as an aggregate number along with all the negatives of that day, without any additional information attached to it. The schools and sports organizations are required to safely dispose of all tests.

Michigan expanding the use of monoclonal antibody therapy in the fight against COVID-19  

Therapeutic treatments can help reduce symptoms in patientsrisk of hospitalization and death  

On Wednesday, April 14, 2021, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun provided an update on COVID-19 casesvaccines and variants and discussed the state’s efforts to expand the use of monoclonal antibody therapy to help those diagnosed with COVID-19 avoid hospitalization 

The Governor praised progress on vaccinations and urged Michiganders to keep doing their part by wearing masks, washing their hands, social distancing, and getting vaccinated. The Governor stressed there are still public health laws in place to mitigate the spread of COVID including a mask mandate, capacity limits on indoor gatherings, and mandatory testing for sports. The Governor also shared information about the use of Regeneron and Eli Lilly monoclonal antibody treatments. These treatments have been authorized for emergency use by the FDA and can be effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths for those diagnosed with COVID-19. The state is ensuring providers across the state have the supplies they need to effectively treat Michiganders. 


MIOSHA Takes Action to Protect Workers, Extends Emergency Rules Amid Surge in COVID-19 Cases

Emergency Rules extended, outline workplace COVID-19 mitigation requirements

As broad community spread of COVID-19 continues, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) within the Michigan Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) has extended its emergency rules, originally issued October 14, 2020, to protect Michigan workers, businesses, customers and communities from the spread of COVID-19. The emergency rules have been extended until October 14, 2021, but can be modified or withdrawn at any time in response to changes in COVID-19 spread.


MDHHS Resources

Vaccine Information I StrategyDistribution Guidance I MI Vaccine Locations I FAQs

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COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States


CDC data as of April 2, 2021. Click to view more data.


NIH-funded COVID-19 testing initiative aims to safely return children to in-person school


NIH trial of anti-CD14 antibody to treat COVID-19 respiratory disease begins


NIH experts discuss post-acute COVID-19



Read the Latest COVID-19 Research

April 16, 2021

April 14, 2021