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


April 30, 2021  I  NEWS RELEASE: Reduced Quarantine Period

Media Only Contact:
Kristina Wieghmink, OCDPH public information officer I mobile/text 616-510-8523

COVID-19 Information: I 616-396-5266

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.

"We are encouraged by the progress our community has been making and seeing data support a reduction in quarantine time," said OCDPH Medical Director Dr. Paul Heidel. "We know a 14-day quarantine causes many challenges for families, businesses and schools, and we want to help ease the burden by making policy adjustments with the latest findings."

Earlier this month, the OCDPH transitioned from a 10-day quarantine to a 14-day quarantine to uphold Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recommendations because of significant case increases across the state. Given the latest countywide data with case rate decreases, the OCDPH is decreasing its required quarantine length to 10 days. The change is retroactive, so Ottawa County residents currently in quarantine can reduce their quarantine length from 14 to 10 days. The reduced quarantine time is also to ensure consistent guidelines across West Michigan health departments and with the Michigan State and Local Public Health COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures.

The 10-day quarantine requirement will begin on Friday, April 30, for the following reasons:

  • The impact of COVID-19 variants is better understood. In early April, the full impact of variants on case rates and positivity during a surge was unknown. The last three weeks have given OCDPH time to assess which variants are most common, if case rates and positivity would be unexpectedly amplified by the presence of variants, and if variants have lengthened the timeline when people get sick after being exposed. Currently, local data show that although there are more contagious variants in the community, primarily B.1.1.7, metrics are improving, and there has not been a substantial observable change when people get sick after being exposed.   

  • Vaccination is providing more protection in our community than in early April.  Nearly 40% of Ottawa County residents are now completely vaccinated, compared to only 25% in early April. Age groups that are highly vaccinated have much lower case rates, showing the vaccine protects against infection. New data from the CDC also show the vaccine protects against hospitalization.
  • Modeling data from the CDC indicate that 10-day and 14-day quarantines both substantially reduce the risk of an infected person transmitting COVID-19 to others. A review of local data demonstrates consistent findings. 

  • OCDPH continues to recommend people who are quarantined monitor for symptoms through day 14 after quarantine begins. Quarantine periods may end after 10 days, as long as no symptoms have developed and there are no ongoing household exposures.

Additionally, despite some public perception, public health requires COVID-19 cases to report contacts, and those contacts are required to separate from others and all group or public activities for 10 days following their last exposure to the case. Public health is authorized to enforce when made aware of intentional disregard of isolation and quarantine.

Quarantine instructions for people who are fully vaccinated

Fully vaccinated people who meet the criteria are no longer required to quarantine following 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 or Moderna) immunity builds two weeks after the second dose.
  • If given a one-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson) immunity builds two weeks after the 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.

Learn more at


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.


COVID-19 Testing

OCDPH is offering rapid antigen testing available to 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

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