NEWS RELEASE: Highly contagious Delta variant detected in Ottawa County

Bookmark and Share



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

Marcia Mansaray, deputy health officer I 616-494-5598

COVID-19 Questions: Public Health Response  I  616-396-5266

Highly contagious Delta variant detected in Ottawa County

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health reminds everyone to continue COVID-19 precautions

HOLLAND, Mich., June 26, 2021 – Yesterday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced that a case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.617.2, otherwise known as the Delta variant, was identified in an Ottawa County vaccinated adult in their fifties with recent travel within the United States. This is the first confirmed case of the Delta variant in the West Michigan region. One close contact, who also has a history of recent travel, has since been identified as a COVID-19 case and is presumed to had been infected with the Delta variant, though this has not been confirmed in the laboratory. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies the Delta variant as a "variant of concern," a label given to strains believed to be more transmissible or cause more serious disease.

“This variant has caused a serious and deadly surge in India, where it was first identified,” said Marcia Mansaray, deputy health officer with Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH). “The SARS-CoV-2 virus behaves in unexpected ways so it is hard to predict what the impact of this variant will be here, but each opportunity for spread is another opportunity for the virus to mutate. We are still in a race between variants and vaccines. Unvaccinated people will be the most vulnerable.”

The OCDPH reminds everyone to adhere to COVID-19 prevention recommendations to prevent the spread of illness whenever possible and urges those who haven’t already to get vaccinated. Though the Ottawa County case was vaccinated, data are showing the mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. still work well against the variant, and the CDC is examining how the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine performs. Since the J&J vaccine is similar to the AstraZeneca vaccine, which looks to protect against severe and deadly disease from the Delta variant, the CDC anticipates the J&J vaccine will also work well at preventing severe disease. However, out of an abundance of caution, vaccinated individuals may want to consider wearing masks since the Delta variant has been identified in Ottawa County. 

“COVID-19 vaccines are the best protection we have against the virus and its variants,” said Toni Bulthuis, immunization supervisor with OCDPH. “We don’t know yet if children will be more impacted by the Delta variant. While no vaccine can be 100% effective all the time for everyone, the vaccines in the U.S. have consistently demonstrated high levels of protection against severe outcomes such as hospitalization and death.”

OCDPH continues to offer walk-in access to the Pfizer and J&J vaccines every Monday from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. COVID-19 vaccines are also widely available at many pharmacies, urgent care centers and physician’s offices. For specific local vaccination locations by day, visit the vaccine clinic calendar at If you're looking for vaccine information to help people who may have limited or no internet access, please call the Michigan COVID-19 hotline at 888-535-6136 or 2-1-1.

Additional Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

SARS-CoV-2 Variant Classifications and Definitions 

About the Variants of the Virus that Causes COVID-19