Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update - May 2, 2021

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May 2, 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 community mental health professionals who talk about how to build resiliency in kids during this difficult time 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. The discussion starts here with links to resources in the video description.


Click to watch the briefing.


OCDPH update at the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners meeting on April 27, includes special recognition of Dr. Paul Heidel for his nearly 20 years with Ottawa County. Congratulations on your retirement, Doc, and thank you for your leadership and service to our country and community! We will greatly miss you and your sense of humor that brought us so many smiles throughout the years!

Wednesdays at noon we will provide the latest Ottawa County COVID-19 updates on YouTube.com/miOttawa and Facebook.com/miOttawaHealth. This Wednesday includes an interview with Lakeshore Advantage who will share vaccine information for employers. Get a Reminder

Click to find vaccine clinics offered this week.


"Testing for COVID-19 is an important tool to identify where the virus is circulating in our community," said Dr. Paul Heidel, medical director with OCDPH. "It is particularly crucial for those who've recently traveled." 

"Partnering with the City of Holland and Tulip Time Festival gives us a great opportunity to meet people where they are and offer vaccination," said Toni Bulthuis, immunization supervisor with OCDPH. "We will be administering the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to make it as convenient as possible for people to get vaccinated."

"Tulip Time is thrilled to partner with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health to provide testing and vaccines to residents and guests," said Gwen Auwerda, executive director with Tulip Time Festival. "This is the first large festival in the state in the last 15 months. We encourage people to take advantage of both of these services to stay safe so we can stay open."

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.


Have you received your COVID-19 vaccine yet?

If not, tell us why.


✔️ You can help by completing this quick survey. All answers are anonymous.
✔️ After you complete the survey, please share this link with others - https://zencity.typeform.com/to/G79VnW1s
✔️ We appreciate your feedback.
✔️ Click here for vaccine information.


Updated mask requirements for those who are fully vaccinated

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated guidance on mask requirements for fully vaccinated individuals. People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear a mask outdoors while walking, running, hiking or biking alone, or when in small gatherings, including with members of their households. Masks are still necessary for crowded outdoor venues like sports stadiums.

Learn more from the White House COVID-19 Task Force briefing with Dr. Fauci and CDC Director Dr. Walensky.

Fully vaccinated people can:

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.
  • Visit with unvaccinated people (including children) from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.
  • Participate in outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues.
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States.
  • Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings.
  • Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic.
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if asymptomatic and feasible.

For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:

  • Take precautions in indoor public settings like wearing a well-fitted mask.
  • Wear well-fitted masks when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease.
  • Wear well-fitted masks when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people from multiple households.
  • Avoid indoor large-sized in-person gatherings.
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers.
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations.


Thank you to our community for supporting public health!



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


Alpha Mansaray - Gift Advisor at Mel Trotter Ministries

I grew up in West Africa; poor but in a happy family. Life was tough but wonderful as a youngster in the tropics. But my sisters got sick and before we even know it, they all died in one week. Why? They had measles and we could not afford the vaccine. I never got to experience what it is like to grow up with my sisters. My mom to this day carries this unimaginable pain. I can only imagine what impact those three measles shots would mean for my mom, my brothers and my family. 

That is why I got the COVID-19 vaccine and recommend it to everyone. Here in America, it is free and people get to make the choice to get vaccinated or not. As I often say, in life you get to make your choices, but you never get to choose the consequences of those choices. My family never got the option to choose!

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

updated quarantine

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

  • Received: 146,640 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 30, 2021. 

  • Administered: 206,497 first and second doses have been administered to Ottawa County residents as of April 30, 2021.

  • Coverage: Nearly 41% of all Ottawa County residents aged 16 years or older are fully vaccinated, and nearly 72% of Ottawa County residents who are 65 years of age or older are fully vaccinated as of April 30, 2021. 

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


FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Clarification

  • No requirement that the decedent was a U.S. citizen.
  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, legal resident or qualified alien.
  • Death had to occur in the U.S.
  • The death certificate must say caused by or likely the result of COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms.
  • For each funeral, there can only be one primary applicant (that person is expected to distribute if others contributed funds to the funeral).
  • Each funeral is a $9,000 max for reimbursement, but a primary applicant could apply for more than one funeral (if they lost more than 1 person), up to a max of $35,500.
  • A primary applicant must be an individual and not an organization.
  • No duplication of funds such as other grants, Go Fund Me or others.
  • All reimbursement requests must have proof of expenses, such as receipts.


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

Latest Ottawa County data support change in reducing quarantine time from 14 days to 10 days

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) continually monitors and analyzes county and state COVID-19 data to drive decision-making and develop guidelines to best keep the community safe from COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and death. Lately, case rates and test positivity have been declining in Ottawa County. Case rates have established two weeks of a significant downtrend, strongly suggesting community transmission is decreasing. However, to keep going in a positive direction, people need to remain diligent with preventing the spread of the virus by getting vaccinated, wearing a face covering, keeping distance from others and frequently washing hands and disinfecting surfaces.


West Michigan Vaccine Clinic at DeVos Place Update & Notice

Over the last several weeks and months, you’ve walked alongside us at the West Michigan Vaccine Clinic to deliver over 200,000 (and counting) vaccines. This is a huge accomplishment – one that could not have been achieved without the support of so many willing and committed to taking time out of their days and lives for others in the community.

We’ve reached a new phase in vaccine distribution, one that no longer requires a large-scale operation like the West Michigan Vaccine Clinic. To be the best stewards we can with resources, the clinic will wind down services by May 21. Vaccine efforts will be directed toward smaller, community-based clinics where there is continued need.

Kent County Health Department, Spectrum Health, Mercy Health and Vaccinate West Michigan are truly grateful – and proud – of so many partners that made the clinic possible and helped to sustain it for several months.

It adds up to THOUSANDS in our community that has played a significant and critical role in advocating for health, overcoming vaccine hesitancy and fighting COVID-19. From reaching out to your networks, knocking on doors, donating time and dollars, making space for conversations, and overall being a part of the solution – this is all to be celebrated!

Vaccinations have meant so much to thousands in our community and mark a turning point as we begin to pull out of the pandemic. Our fight isn’t over. And our message remains the same – get vaccinated!

We still need your support and guidance to encourage vaccinations and drive your networks, friends and family to clinics in our communities. Vaccinatewestmi.com will remain as a community vaccination resource for updates, information and available clinics.

Our collaborative efforts will persevere as we continue to partner on health advocacy, equity and access – because it truly takes a community.

With Gratitude,

Kent County Health Department
Spectrum Health
Mercy Health


Click to watch the video.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services is partnering with the Kent County Health Department to hold two COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics for the Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of Hearing communities. The clinics will have ASL interpreters and other communication accommodations so that all who come will have effective communication access while receiving their vaccine. The clinics will be offering the two-dose Pfizer vaccine, and it will be available by appointment ONLY.

CLINIC #1: May 10, 2021

What: 1st dose of Pfizer vaccine

Where: Kent County's South Clinic, located at 4700 Kalamazoo Ave SE in Kentwood.


CLINIC #2: June 3, 2021

What: 2nd dose of Pfizer vaccine

Where: same location as 1st dose

To schedule an appointment, you can contact the Advocacy Specialist, Jessica Oliver in the following ways:

Video Phone - 616-828-0186

Telephone - 616-732-7358, ext 204

Email - advocacy@deafhhs.org

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COVID-19 Vaccinations in Michigan

  • MI Distributed: 9,241,255 first and second COVID-19 vaccine doses.
  • Administered Statewide: 6,914,699 first and second COVID-19 vaccine doses.
  • Coverage: 38% of all Michigan residents aged 16 years or older are fully vaccinated, and 67% of Michigan residents who are 65 years of age or older are fully vaccinated as of April 30, 2021. 

    More Vaccine Data from MDHHS here.






Governor Unveils Plan to Get ‘MI Vacc to Normal’ 

Governor Whitmer announced a path to return to normal by unveiling the ‘MI Vacc to Normal’ plan as the state continues to push toward its goal of vaccinating 70% of residents ages 16 years or older. To facilitate this goal, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will base future epidemic order actions on four vaccination-based milestones that, once achieved, will enable Michigan to take a step toward normalcy. 

  • 55% of Michiganders (4,453,304 residents), plus two weeks
    Allows in-person work for all sectors of business. 

  • 60% of Michiganders (4,858,150 residents), plus two weeks
    • Increases indoor capacity at sports stadiums to 25%. 
    • Increases indoor capacity at conference centers/banquet halls/funeral homes to 25%. 
    • Increases capacity at exercise facilities and gyms to 50%. 
    • Lifts the curfew on restaurants and bars.   

  • 65% of Michiganders (5,262,996 residents), plus two weeks
    • Lifts all indoor % capacity limits, requiring only social distancing between parties. 
    • Further relaxes limits on residential social gatherings.   

  • 70% of Michiganders (5,667,842 residents), plus two weeks
    Lifts the Gatherings and Face Masks Order such that MDHHS will no longer employ broad mitigation measures unless unanticipated circumstances arise, such as the spread of vaccine-resistant variants.   


Grant Funding Available for Michigan Restaurants and Bars

The new Restaurant Revitalization Fund, part of the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act, provides $28.6 billion in grants to restaurants and bars that have experienced pandemic-related revenue loss. The U.S. Small Business Administration began registrations for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund today, Friday, April 30, 2021, at 9 a.m. EDT and will open applications on Monday, May 3, 2021, at noon EDT. The online application will remain open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted.

MDHHS Resources

Vaccine Information I MI Vaccine Locations I FAQs

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COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States


Click for more data.


Tracking the Evolution of a ‘Variant of Concern’ in Brazil

Posted on April 27th, 2021 by Dr. Francis Collins

By last October, about three out of every four residents of Manaus, Brazil already had been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 [1]. And yet, despite hopes of achieving “herd immunity” in this city of 2.2 million in the Amazon region, the virus came roaring back in late...



Read the Latest COVID-19 Research


Click to read more.

Click to learn more from the CDC's COVID-19 Webinars and Partner Calls Videos