Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update - January 7, 2022

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January 7, 2022

Resources Available Online  |  miOttawa.org/COVID19

PH updates

Omicron Variant Detected in Ottawa County 

On Monday, January 3, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) confirmed the first cases of the COVID-19 variant, Omicron (B.1.1.529), in Ottawa County. The six cases were confirmed based on tests collected between December 17 and December 21. We have since received three more, with test dates on December 22, for a total of nine cases. 

Omicron is spreading in the Ottawa County community and OCDPH expects it to become the emerging, and potentially dominant, variant in the county in the weeks ahead. 

With Omicron's rapid spread and increased contagiousness, it is more important than ever to consider vaccination, or a booster if you are eligible. In addition, continue practicing masking in public, staying home if you are sick and testing if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or think you may have been exposed. 


 CDC and FDA Expand Booster Shot Eligibility to Teens Ages 12-17

On Wednesday, January 5, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) expanded booster shot eligibility to 12-15 year olds. The CDC now recommends that adolescents ages 12-17 receive a booster shot five months after their initial Pfizer vaccination series. Boosters are available at your local pharmacy, physician offices or any vaccine clinic. To find a vaccine clinic visit www.VaccinateWestMi.com/clinics


Highlights From Our Kids-Only COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics - Appointments Are Still Available in January


*Click image to play video*

As a reminder, we're offering family vaccine clinics for primary series vaccination or boosters on Thursdays in January. This video shares some highlights from one of our 2021 kids-only clinics. With Omicron's increased spread in Ottawa County, we are strongly recommending vaccination and boosters. Although breakthrough cases of COVID-19 are occurring due to the Omicron variant's high level of contagiousness, the vaccines are doing an exceptional job of protecting people from serious illness and death. If you aren't sure if vaccination is right for you or your children, speak with your health care provider for information on what is best for your family. Clinic appointments can be made by scanning the QR codes below or by visiting www.VaccinateWestMi.com/clinics



More on Updated CDC Recommendations for Isolation and Quarantine

By now, you've heard of the CDC's updated recommendations on isolation and quarantine, issued on December 27. In fact, we told you about it in last week's bulletin. Because the new guidance is changing rapidly, we wanted to share our resources with you again. Additionally, we've included some links to more information. 

Many people are wondering why the CDC would shorten isolation and quarantine timeframes at the same time the United States is experiencing a surge with the rapidly spreading Omicron variant. 

In part, this is due to data showing that Omicron is the most contagious in the one to two days prior to an individual showing symptoms, and two to three days after symptom onset. As a reminder, if you have symptoms, you should still isolate until your symptoms resolve. 

Another reason for change is the societal impact the Omicron variant is having on communities. Essential public services are being adversely affected because of illness and exposure. The shortened isolation requirement will allow police, fire, and ambulance services, as well as hospitals to maintain adequate staffing levels to keep us all safe. 

It's important to remember that this new guidance is for the general public only. The CDC issued specific guidance for K-12 schools on Thursday, January 6. OCDPH is in the process of updating our communication, policies, procedures and systems in accordance with the updated guidance. 

CDC shortened guidance



General guidance: COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation | CDC

Rationale and FAQs: What We Know About Quarantine and Isolation | CDC

Questions & Answers

The August 20 - Face Masks in Educational Settings Order expired on January 2nd. Why isn't OCDPH renewing the order?

Many of you have asked why OCDPH allowed the order mandating face masks in schools to expire on January 2, when hospitals are strained and a new variant is circulating. 

OCDPH's mission is to work with the community to assure conditions that promote and protect health. The role of public health in assuring those conditions can vary depending on what kind of a situation the community is experiencing. The tools available for OCDPH to use to promote health to the largest number of people varies with each situation as well. 

One of the tools that was widely used by public health officials, particularly at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, is an emergency health order. The mask mandate for schools was an emergency health order. An emergency health order must meet certain requirements in the Michigan Public Health Code to be lawful and defensible. An imminent public health threat must exist in order for an emergency health order to be lawful under the Code. 

Early on in the pandemic, there was an imminent public health threat from COVID-19 because there was no vaccine available, and treatment options were limited because health care providers were learning how to care for patients ill with a new virus. At that time, mandates were the most effective way to keep many people protected, reduce infections, protect healthcare, and prevent poor outcomes like MIS-C and death. But now, we have many tools available to us, including vaccination, monoclonal antibody treatment, antiviral medications, testing resources and the widespread availability of masks. 

To parents, we recognize this may be a complicated and difficult time for your kids to go back to school, particularly where mask use varies from person to person. We are meeting with schools districts weekly to provide up-to-date guidance on the best strategies to keep kids safe. In addition, in accordance with CDC and MDHHS guidance, we are recommending schools and businesses institute their own masking requirements. 

OCDPH is always evaluating how our efforts can be of the most benefit to the largest number of people in Ottawa County. We will continue to do that as we make our way through this pandemic, and for each health or environmental issue our community faces in the future. 

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 4:00 pm. View Data Hub

Weekly COVID-19 Data Reports can be found on our COVID page

Ottawa County Case Rates

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As of January 6, 266 new cases of COVID-19 were reported each day on average over the last 7 days, up from the 131 daily reported cases over the previous 7-day period. Case counts and incidence rates remain high at this time. Because these reports do not include results in people tested with antigen test kits at home, true case counts may be underreported.

COVID-19 Vaccinations in Ottawa County

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Coverage: 65.3% of all Ottawa County residents aged 5 years or older have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, as of January 6, 2022. More vaccine data from MDHHS can be found here

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Michigan Vaccination Rates

MI Vax

Coverage: 63.3% of all Michigan residents aged 5 years or older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as of January 6, 2022. More vaccine data from MDHHS can be found here.

Progress is based on the CDC data tracker, which includes Michigan 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 slightly undercounts the true number of doses administered to Michigan residents. LEARN MORE

COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States

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Where to Find COVID-19 Vaccines

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The OCDPH is listing all of its COVID-19 vaccination clinics on VaccinateWestMi.com. 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 5 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.
  • Boosters are now recommended for anyone 12 years or older.
  • Proof of date of birth 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.
VWM January Calendar

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 www.miOttawa.org/covid19

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

VaccinateWestMi.com FAQs I Deaf & Hard of Hearing FAQ Videos
CDC COVID-19 FAQs Flyer I CDC FAQ Website

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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.