Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update - April 25, 2021

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April 25, 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. Hear the latest vaccination news from the Ottawa County Department of Public Health. Includes an interview with Upward Bound students from Holland High School who are a part of a new documentary produced by Cynthia Martinez. Cynthia has been recording the journey of several high school students who've been navigating the challenges of the pandemic and getting the COVID-19 vaccine. 

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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.

Wednesday, April 28, will include an interview with mental health professionals who will talk about how to build resiliency in kids during this difficult time of going to school amid a pandemic. Hear how to help kids navigate the challenges when confronted with isolation, quarantine or not being able to play sports and take part in other youth activities. Get a Reminder


Click to find vaccine clinics offered this week.

Self-scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments available - Walk-ins welcomed while supplies last

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) with partnering agencies have appointments and walk-in opportunities available. Walk-ins are limited to the number of vaccines on hand. To ensure vaccine availability, people may schedule an appointment. Vaccination is for anyone aged 16 years or older to receive their first-dose COVID-19 vaccine. Only the Pfizer vaccine will be offered to individuals aged 16 or 17 years, and a parent or guardian must accompany the minor. Date of birth proof is required (driver’s license, state ID or birth certificate). 

"Ottawa County has not yet reached the state's target goal of 70 percent for all those aged 16 years and older to be vaccinated," said Toni Bulthuis, immunization supervisor. "Vaccination is the best way to keep you and your family safe from severe COVID-19 infection. We want to get back to the things we enjoy, and vaccination is the key."

As of April 23, 2021, only 36 percent of all Ottawa County residents aged 16 years or older have completed COVID-19 vaccination (two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine). Nearly 51 percent have received at least one or more doses of any of the COVID-19 vaccines. 


Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

  • COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19.
  • Once you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing more.
  • COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to help build protection.
  • COVID-19 vaccination will be an important tool to help stop the pandemic.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
  • None of the COVID-19 vaccines can make you sick with COVID-19.


Update on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

After a thorough safety review of a rare blood clotting syndrome reported in very few people, the FDA and CDC have confidence that the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (J&J) vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19. The FDA determined the available data show the vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks in individuals 18 years of age and older. The CDC, FDA and MDHHS authorized the continuation of the J&J vaccine administration.

The OCDPH will resume vaccination using its supply of the J&J vaccine that has been safely and properly stored while waiting for further guidance. The use of the J&J vaccine is an integral part of the county’s vaccination efforts to reach high-risk populations where administering the two-dose vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) is difficult. The public will be advised as to which vaccine is being offered at each of the OCDPH clinics. Additionally, information about monitoring for any of the very rare side effects after receiving the J&J vaccine will be provided (shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent abdominal pain, severe or persistent headaches or blurred vision, and easy bruising or tiny blood spots). Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical care right away.


Show support for medical professionals

Get vaccinated, wear a mask, stay home and keep your distance!
Article content courtesy of the Holland Sentinel.

“It’s a punch straight in the gut,” the doctor said of the recent surge. “When the vaccine started to come out, we all were able to breathe just a little bit, focus on that and get that to pull us through."

"When we saw that next wave, a lot of the wind was taken straight out of our sails. We’re running on fumes. It’s getting harder and harder to get up and go to work every day.”

“The idea that something you’re doing could, in three weeks, turn out to be harmful, that’s plausible. That weighs on you. I lay up at night agonizing if I’ve done the right thing.”

“We throw our complete lives into what we do. We have to to survive in this profession,” the doctor said. “I can’t, as hard as I try, leave that at the hospital. It’s a heavy burden to bear as a person.”

“I firmly believe if we hang on to whatever glimmer of hope that we can, whether it’s seeing family again or getting your business back to what it was, we need that as humans to pull us through hard times,” the doctors said. “The power of thought and hope is very real.”

“I beg of you — with all that I have that is left intact — wear a mask, distance yourselves and please get vaccinated.”



Article content courtesy of the Holland Sentinel. Click the image to read more.


Masks: What you need to know

  • When you wear a mask, you protect others as well as yourself. Masks work best when everyone wears one.
  • A mask is NOT a substitute for social distancing. Masks should still be worn in addition to staying at least 6 feet apart, especially when indoors around people who don’t live in your household.
  • Masks should completely cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of face without gaps.
  • Masks should be worn any time you are traveling on a plane, bus, train, or other form of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
  • People age 2 and older should wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in their household.​
  • Wear a mask inside your home if someone you live with is sick with symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol after touching or removing your mask.
  • Masks may not be necessary when you are outside by yourself away from others, or with people who live in your household. However, some areas may have mask mandates while out in public, so please check the rules in your local area (such as in your city, county, or state). Additionally, check whether any federal mask mandates apply to where you will be going.
  • CDC continues to study the effectiveness of different types of masks and update our recommendations as new scientific evidence becomes available. The most recent scientific brief is available here: Scientific Brief: Community Use of Cloth Masks to Control the Spread of SARS-CoV-2 | CDC
  • CDC recently conducted a study in a laboratory that tested the performance of different mask combinations.
  • There are several easy methods to improve the performance of your mask. Visit CDC’s Improve the Fit and Filtration of Your Mask to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19 webpage to learn more.

Mask misinformation debunked: "Study disputing efficacy of face masks is not a ‘Stanford study,’ School of Medicine says” READ MORE

Close contacts in K-12 schools

In response to several requests from community members and stakeholders, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is providing observational data on the percent of contacts in K-12 schools that become probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases. It is important to note that this data has numerous limitations. Making any policy decisions based on this data is not recommended, as more research needs to be conducted. Several factors affect the percentage, such as most contacts not being routinely tested for COVID-19, contacts with symptoms not reporting their illness, and contacts having other non-school exposures. Additionally, research has shown that nearly 40% of children who test positive show no symptoms1and that 50% of transmission may occur from people with no symptoms2. This research suggests that some school contacts in quarantine may never be identified as cases because they show no symptoms – but could still be a risk to others. In Ottawa County, observational data show that about 1.4% of named contacts in K-12 schools become probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases counted by public health. However, without testing every person in quarantine, this statistic could easily underestimate the true burden of COVID-19 among quarantined school contacts.    

The OCDPH will continue to monitor the data to help further inform state and federal partners. We are hopeful they will prioritize analytical studies that can be used to tailor national COVID-19 guidance for school settings. As of now, Ottawa County will continue to adhere to the 14-day quarantine period for all identified contacts, including those in schools and school athletics, as outlined in the MDHHS guidelines.  

The OCDPH will continue looking to the CDC and MDHHS for best practices that mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and balance the educational, physical, and emotional needs of children in school. However, local public health does not have the authority to circumvent state mandates, rather has a duty to carry out epidemic orders and follow published guidance.   

"Prevention strategies such as vaccination, distancing, masking and hand-washing are likely reducing the proportion of contacts that become cases in schools," said Derel Glashower, senior epidemiologist. "We commend our school partners for their diligent efforts to minimize COVID-19 transmission in school settings, and we will keep working together to further inform COVID-19 prevention strategies in schools." 

Examples of research and assessments on quarantined contacts and COVID-19 transmission in schools can be found in the following articles: 


  1. https://academic.oup.com/cid/advance-article/doi/10.1093/cid/ciaa1693/5952826
  2. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2774707#:~:text=The%20findings%20presented%20here%20complement,occurred%20from%20persons%20without%20symptoms.

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

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


Click the image to watch the broadcast.

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 5,980 first and second Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses. 

Total Ottawa County To-date:

  • Received: 135,260 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 23, 2021. 

  • Administered: 192,187 first and second doses have been administered to Ottawa County residents as of April 23, 2021.

  • Coverage: Nearly 51% of all Ottawa County residents have had at least their first vaccine dose, and nearly 78% of Ottawa County residents who are 65 years of age or older have had at least their first vaccine dose. 

More vaccine data from MDHHS here


Click the image to open the MDHHS vaccine dashboard.

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.

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

Ottawa County COVID-19 Data Hub

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

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COVID-19 Vaccinations in Michigan

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  • MI Distributed: 8,460,585 first and second COVID-19 vaccine doses.
  • Administered Statewide: 6,386,220 first and second COVID-19 vaccine doses.
  • Coverage: 47% of all Michigan residents have had at least their first vaccine dose, and 73% of Michigan residents who are 65 years of age and older have had at least their first vaccine dose as of April 23, 2021. 

    More Vaccine Data from MDHHS here.

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.


COVID-19 vaccine responses to be studied in people with immune deficits

Enrollment begins at NIH Clinical Center.


Clinical trial of therapeutics for severely ill hospitalized COVID-19 patients begins

Patients with acute respiratory failure may now enroll in NIH-sponsored trial.


Large NIH clinical trial will test polyclonal antibody therapeutic for COVID-19


Study Demonstrates Saliva Can Spread Novel Coronavirus

COVID-19 is primarily considered a respiratory illness that affects the lungs, upper airways, and nasal cavity. But COVID-19 can also affect other parts of the body, including the digestive system, blood vessels, and kidneys. Now, a new study has added something else: the mouth.


Study Finds 1 in 10 Healthcare Workers with Mild COVID Have Lasting Symptoms

It’s become increasingly clear that even healthy people with mild cases of COVID-19 can battle a constellation of symptoms that worsen over time—or which sometimes disappear only to come right back. These symptoms are part of what’s called "Long COVID Syndrome."



Read the Latest COVID-19 Research

April 23, 2021

April 23, 2021

April 21, 2021