Bi-Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update - March 7 , 2022

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March 7, 2022

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PH updates

Many things related to COVID-19 have changed since we sent our last bulletin just two weeks ago. The most encouraging change is that COVID-19 case rates and test positivity across all age groups continue to decline. Our healthcare systems are also in a much better position to provide care as the number of admissions for COVID-19 patients has decreased.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) have also recently made significant shifts in COVID-19 response guidance, including new protocols for future response efforts, updated mask recommendations and updated COVID-19 Community Levels, the CDC’s new tool to help communities make decisions about COVID-19 prevention. According to MDHHS’ COVID-19 response cycle, Michigan is currently in the Post-Surge Recovery phase.

These steps represent the point our community has hoped to reach throughout the pandemic, and it is our hope that case rates will remain low. However, none of these steps mean that COVID-19 is no longer a threat or that we can abandon all prevention strategies. This new milestone does mean we can all enjoy a time of respite and recovery.

We want to thank all of you for your diligence, your continued care for those around you and for your support of our organization. We also want to remain a trustworthy source for information about COVID-19 and the status of transmission in our community.

Our plan for now is to discontinue weekly or every other week distribution of the COVID-19 bulletin. If there is breaking news or information we need to provide about the pandemic, or if we enter a time of Readiness in advance of an expected surge in cases, we will increase the frequency of our communication with you. If you see increased communication, you can trust that it means that the COVID-19 situation in Ottawa County has changed and there are prevention steps you will be asked to consider taking.

Finally, for many in our community, including those who are high-risk and those who are not yet eligible for vaccination, the threat of COVID-19 is still very real. In today’s bulletin, you will find a framework for how to make decisions around COVID-19 prevention now. Please remember that each of us have different household experiences and risk tolerance, and not all of us will approach COVID-19 prevention in the same way.

We could not have reached this point in the pandemic without the cooperation of the entire community during an incredibly difficult two years. Again, we thank you!

Making decisions about COVID-19 masking and prevention strategies as guidelines change

Community levels by county

On Friday, February 24, the CDC released its COVID-19 Community Levels, a tool to help communities and individuals make decisions about COVID-19 prevention strategies based on community transmission and circumstances in their local environment. The Community Levels uses a combination of three metrics to identify a community's level, including new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 population in the past 7 days, the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients and the total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days.

Ottawa County is currently one of seven counties in the lower peninsula at the "low" community level. Thanks to high levels of immunity attained either through vaccination or previous infection, the widespread availability of vaccine and testing and treatment options if you become infected -- the risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death is low for most people. Although this is all great news, we know there are many in our community who are at higher risk for serious outcomes from COVID-19. These people may find it helpful to have a framework for decision making as requirements are modified or removed.

Each individual and family needs to assess personal risk. Do you live or work with someone in a vulnerable population such as the elderly, someone who is immunocompromised or has co-morbidities that would be complicated by COVID-19 infection or is there someone in your home or close community who is not vaccinated or is not yet eligible for vaccination? If so, you may want to consider continuing mask use, especially in indoor public places, even while community transmission levels are in the low or medium categories. If you are in a high-risk group, speak to your physician or healthcare provider while community transmission is low to create a treatment plan should you become infected with COVID-19.

A well-fitting KN95 or N95 mask (usually referred to as a respirator) is an important tool in preventing infection. Adult sizes are available for free in many places throughout Ottawa County, or by visiting the health department's office on James Street in Holland. 

Testing continues to be valuable in determining whether you should gather with others, particularly with large groups or in indoor spaces or if you think you've been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

If you are not up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccines, consider getting a booster, which provides a higher level of protection against infection.

Finally, if you test positive for COVID-19, it is still vital that you isolate and wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days after onset of illness or positive test, whichever is earlier. Please also consider testing if you've been around someone with COVID-19. 

You can find additional information on how to approach COVID-19 prevention in the chart below or here.

We are hopeful about how all of these changes will allow us some respite and give the ability to resume many of our pre-pandemic activities. We will keep you informed of any changes so that you can continue to use the CDC's community level guidance in your personal situation.

CDC community levels

We Want to Hear From You


Have our COVID-19 communication updates been useful for you? Although some of you may have participated in a survey on our COVID-19 response in 2020, we'd love your feedback now about what has been helpful and what we could do better. Please respond to our brief survey about COVID-19 communications below. The survey is anonymous and confidential and will be used to inform future communications outreach. Thank you! 

Click here for the survey. 

Masking Requirements on Public Transportation

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CDC’s new COVID-19 Community Levels recommendations do not change most current travel requirements, including the requirement to wear masks on public transportation such as planes, buses and trains, and indoors in U.S. transportation hubs. This requirement is in effect through March 18, 2022. Effective February 25, 2022, CDC no longer requires the wearing of masks on buses or vans operated by public or private school systems, including early care and education/child care programs. 

Traveling Internationally? All air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must show a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the United States. 

Do not travel if...

  • You are sick.
  • You have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • You are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test.
  • You had close contact with a person with COVID-19 and are recommended to quarantine. 


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


As of March 3, 35 new cases of COVID-19 were reported each day on average over the last 7 days, down from the 43 daily reported cases over the previous 7-day period. All COVID-19 metrics have improved over the last month. 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 Rates

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Where to Find COVID-19 Vaccines

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OCDPH is listing all of its COVID-19 vaccination clinics on 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.
  • If you are receiving a second dose or a booster, please remember to bring your vaccine card to your appointment.
  • Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for children and teens.
March 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

Car 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 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.