Bi-Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update - October 15, 2021

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October 15, 2021

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COVID-19 Resources -

Ottawa County Issues Reconciliation Order Clarifying Provisions in Earlier Orders

The Reconciliation Order Clarifies Certain Provisions in August 6 and August 20 Orders

The current public health orders, including face masks in educational settings, issued by the Ottawa County Health Officer remain in effect until expiring by their own terms.

On October 8, 2021, The Ottawa County Department of Public Health Administrative Health Officer issued a public health reconciliation order clarifying certain provisions contained within previous Orders issued on August 6, 2021 and August 20, 2021.

The Reconciliation Order highlights the following:

  1. Changes the “Outbreak” definition from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists regarding educational settings from two to three cases, which may result in fewer children and school staff being required to quarantine.
  2. Changes the criterion for lifting the order from 7 days in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) community transmission category “low” to 14 days in the CDC transmission category “moderate”. The August 20, 2021 Order will remain in effect until 60 days past the date COVID-19 vaccine is authorized or approved by the FDA and available to persons in pre-kindergarten through grade six, or if community transmission for Ottawa County is categorized as “Moderate” by the (CDC) for at least fourteen consecutive days, or until further notice from the Administrative Health Officer. The previous Order states that Ottawa County be categorized as “Low” by the CDC for at least seven consecutive days. The CDC Community Transmission Level was “Moderate” during summer 2021, with relatively few pediatric COVID-19 cases reported each week; if “Moderate” transmission is reattained, select mitigation strategies in schools could be reduced.

This order does not rescind any provisions in the August 6 or August 20 orders. The Reconciliation Order can be found here.


Health Equity in Public Health


Ottawa County Department of Public Health strives to recognize health disparities and promote health equity in healthcare.

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) co-authored a study that highlights the COVID-19 pandemic's disproportionate impact on Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Latino populations in the United States, causing more deaths by population size, both directly and indirectly, compared with White or Asian individuals.

Roughly 2.9 million people died in the United States between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Compared with the same period in 2019, there were 477,200 excess deaths, with 74% of them due to COVID-19. The scientists found that, after adjusting for age, the number of excess deaths by population size among Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Latino men and women were two to three times higher than in White and Asian men and women. 


The Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), indicated that studies have shown that COVID-19 does not affect all population groups equally. Some people with disabilities are more likely to get infected and have severe outcomes from COVID-19 because of underlying medical conditions, group living settings, or systemic health and social inequities

A recent analysis of CDC's survey data shows that some adults with a disability were more likely to report difficulty getting a COVID-19 vaccine compared to adults without a disability. Despite disparities related to COVID-19 vaccine access, adults with a disability are less likely to report being hesitant about vaccination compared tp adults without a disability.


Additional Resources:

Pfizer Booster Shots

Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is offering Pfizer vaccine booster doses to residents who are eligible. Eligible individuals must have received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The second dose must have been 6 months ago. According to the Centers of Disease and Control (CDC), those who meet at least one (1) of the following criteria are eligible for the booster dose:

High risk settings include: First Responders, Education Staff, Food and Agricultural Workers, Manufacturing Workers, Corrections Workers, U.S. Postal Service Workers, Public Transit Workers and Grocery Store Workers.

Booster shots are readily available in Ottawa County. Booster shots are offered at your local health department, pharmacy and health care provider. Booster shots are offered at every vaccine clinic to those who are eligible. To find a vaccine clinic visit

Ottawa County Department of Public Health works with our community to help ensure conditions promote and protect health. For more information contact or (616) 396-5266 or visit Follow us on Facebook @miOttawaHealth or twitter @miOCDPH.

Pfizer Submitted Kids Clinical Trial Data to The FDA for Review

Pfizer recently shared their data from their COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial to the FDA for review. The clinical trial was a pivotal study on the vaccine's safety and effectiveness in children ages 5 to 11. The trial gathered data from 2,298 participants and found that a 10 µg dose – about a third of the adult dose – built a robust neutralizing antibody response in children, similar to those in adults. A formal emergency use authorization (EUA) request for the use of the vaccine among children ages 5-11 has been submitted. The possibility of a EUA of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11 is expected within the upcoming weeks. 

Click here to read the press release from Pfizer.

Got questions? View the Q&A from the University of Virginia. 

Vaccines for 5-11 yr olds - Face Masks in Educational Settings

With the possibility of the next age group being eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, OCDPH would like to encourage parents to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible once the vaccine is available. In accordance to the August 20, 2021 Face Masks in Educational Settings, parents will have 25 days to get their children fully vaccinated before the Order requiring masks in grades pre-kindergarten - 6th grade expires.

  • OCDPH wants to give families the opportunity to plan and give their children the best protection available against COVID-19 infection.
  • Vaccinating your child can reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection, transmission and serious complications such as hospitalizations or death.
  • Getting your child vaccinated is the best way to ensure your child remains in an in-person learning environment, without having to miss school. 

Watch for more information on vaccine EUA and availability coming soon. Visit to find vaccine clinics near you. 

CDC MMWR: Distribution of SARS-CoV-2 Variants in a Large Integrated Health Care System

On October 8, 2021, the CDC released a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Among Kaiser Permanente Southern California members, the weekly percentage of all infections attributed to the Delta variant rapidly increased to 95% during March 4 - July 21, 2021. Infection with Delta variant was more common among younger persons (aged 18 - 44 years) and among non-Hispanic Black persons. The Delta variant was associated with an apparent increased risk of hospitalization among unvaccinated persons. These findings reinforce the importance of implementing COVID-19 strategies, particularly vaccination among eligible populations. 


deaths updated

COVID-19 Death in Michigan

From August 23, 2021 - September 21, 2021, among fully vaccinated individuals, 45 deaths from COVID-19 were reported in Michigan. Among not fully vaccinated individuals, 247 COVID-19 deaths from COVID-19 were reported. 



COVID-19 Hospitalizations

From August 23, 2021 - September 21, 2021, 275 fully vaccinated individuals were hospitalized. 820 not fully vaccinated individuals were hospitalized from COVID-19.

* Note: the vaccines cannot prevent 100% of infections but they safe and effective and provide some protection against the virus that causes COVID-19 and its variants. The benefits of the vaccines outweigh the risks. 

Keeping Kids Safe During the School Year

Ottawa County Department of Public Health’s (OCDPH) main priority is to keep kids safe and healthy during the school year. Over the course of the last few months, prevention strategies, such as masking and testing, have been recommended for children and you may be wondering why. This infographic below was created by Your local epidemiologist and experts (who are also parents) to help describe why these prevention strategies are important and effective to keep kids safe from COVID-19.

keeping kids safe

Mental Health During a Pandemic

Mental health is important to our overall well-being, especially during a world-wide pandemic. Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) would like to share some tips that may be helpful during these abnormal times:

  • Have a support system. Surround yourself with friends in family in a safe, socially-distanced environment. 
  • Take time off from work to rest and recharge. 
  • Reduce your stressors.
  • Engage in relaxing activities and hobbies that promote self-care. 
  • Be kind to yourself and others. 
  • Give people grace. 
  • Be open and honest about your feelings. 
  • Attend therapy if needed. 
mental health

county updates

Ottawa County Data Hub

Ottawa County publishes recent COVID-19 data relating to community transmission, counts, descriptive statistics and test positivity. The data hub is updated every weekday from Monday - Friday by 3:00 pm. View Data Hub

Ottawa County Case Rates

As of October 15, 128 new cases of COVID-19 were reported each day on average over the last 7 days, similar to the 131 daily reported cases over the previous 7 day period.  Despite the signs of plateauing, case counts and incidence rates remain high at this time. 

oc cases 30 days

Variants in Ottawa County 

Since February 25, 2021, several variants of concern have been reported in Ottawa County. Of  all the confirmed variant cases reported in Ottawa County since late February, the majority (52%) were the Alpha variant, followed by the Delta variant (45%). The Epsilon and Gamma variants each made up 2% (percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding). Despite these overall statistics, local data on variants show the Delta variant to be the most predominant variant strain in Ottawa County, making up 100% of all variant cases reported over the last 2 months. Similar data at the state and national levels indicate the Delta variant is still the most predominant strain at this time. 

Please note that whole genome sequencing (WGS) for the SARS-CoV-2 is not widely available like diagnostic tests, therefore only a subset of specimens from COVID-19 cases are further sequenced for variants. Due to the high prevalence of the Delta variant in Michigan, almost every incident infection can now be considered to be a Delta variant infection. 

In addition to WGS of clinical cases, results from wastewater sampling over the last month consistently detected the Delta variant in wastewater samples collected from several sites in the county. The most frequently detected variant continues to be Delta, further confirming the prevalence of the more transmissible and potentially severe variant in Ottawa County. 

Anyone who is eligible should get vaccinated. Non-pharmaceutical intervention strategies such as distancing, hand-washing, ventilation, and proper and consistent masking are still effective in preventing disease transmission.

COVID-19 Vaccinations in Ottawa County

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Coverage: 64.9% of all Ottawa County residents aged 12 years or older have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, as of October 12, 2021. More vaccine data from MDHHS can be found here

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state vaccination

Coverage: 63% of all Michigan residents aged 12 years or older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as of October 12, 2021. More Vaccine Data from MDHHS can be found here.

Progress is based on the CDC data tracker, which includes MI residents vaccinated by providers not currently reporting to the state dashboard below: Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, Bureau of Prisons, and most out-of-state providers. Data provided in the Michigan COVID-19 Dashboard below slightly undercounts the true number of doses administered to MI residents. LEARN MORE

COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States

US Vaccinations

Questions from Community Members

Is natural immunity from infections important?

Natural immunity typically comes when a person survives an infectious disease. Having a weakened immune system or being of an older age can reduce the level of personal immunity obtained from infection. Herd immunity occurs when a high proportion of the community has immunity to an infectious disease, effectively slowing or stopping further transmission. Herd immunity can be achieved in two ways – by infection or by vaccination. Infection involves getting infected with COVID-19 and risking a severe outcome, including death, and possibly passing the virus to others. This method does not guarantee protection from getting COVID-19 again. While infection can provide immunity that helps slow community COVID-19 transmission, the lives of over 700,000 people have been lost thus far in the United States to obtain immunity from infection. Vaccination is safe and effective, and the ideal method for pursuing herd immunity.



Mayo Clinic: Herd Immunity

CDC: Vaccine Offers Higher Protection

What are the chances of my child experiencing side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine?

Serious adverse effects are rare. However, your child experience mild side effects which are normal signs that the body is building protection. The side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Some people have no side effects. 


side effects

There have been reports of teens getting myocarditis after the vaccine. What is this and how often does it occur?

Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle and it is a rare heart condition that has been diagnosed in some people after receiving vaccines. Adolescents and young males are at the highest risk; among them there have been about 60 cases per 1 million vaccinated. It is usually treated with anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen, naproxen and others. Most cases are mild, and at the time the study was published, no deaths had been associated with this rare side effect. The VAERS system is continually monitoring cases. On June 23, 2021, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices deemed the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines (preventing infection, illness and death from COVID-19) outweigh the risks.


Why should kids get vaccinated if they aren't at high risk for the COVID-19 virus?

Older adults are at a higher risk of dying or contracting serious complications from COVID-19, compared to young kids. However, we do know kids are testing positive, being hospitalized and some have died from the virus.

According to American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children are making up a growing share of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S., accounting for nearly 25% last week. As of October 7, 2021 nearly 6 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic. The number of new child COVID cases remains exceptionally high. READ MORE.

Kids can act as a vector in the spread of COVID-19 when infected with the virus, get sick and spread COVID-19 to others. Some children may develop severe illness. Children with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness compared to children without underlying medical conditions. 


Where to Find COVID-19 Vaccines

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The OCDPH is listing all of its COVID-19 vaccination clinics on the website. Click on the calendar to find scheduling and walk-in opportunities in Ottawa County and the surrounding area.

  • The Pfizer two-dose vaccine is available for individuals aged 12 years or older.
  • The Moderna two-dose vaccine is available for individuals aged 18 years or older.
  • The Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine is available for individuals aged 18 years or older.
  • Date of birth proof is required (driver’s license, state ID or birth certificate). Parental consent is required for minors. Find more details and requirements on each clinic's page.
  • Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for children and teens.

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.

COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 testing

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

MDHHS Resources

Vaccine Information I MI Vaccine Locations I FAQs

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Read the Latest NIH Research.

More COVID-19 Vaccine Information Resources 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

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

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.