COVID-19 Updates from Public Health
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Department of Public Health

COVID-19 Response

Ottawa County Statistics

as of 3:00PM, 03/29/20

Positive for COVID-19: 26

Only positive case counts will be listed since COVID-19 laboratory testing has significantly increased throughout Michigan, making it difficult to know the exact number of submitted tests.

Zipcodes with laboratory-confirmed positive cases of COVID-19: 49401, 49404, 49417, 49423, 49424, 49426, 49428, 49448, 49456, 49464 and 49534

Latest Updates from Ottawa County

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COVID-19 Myths vs Facts

(Updated March 24, 2020)

  • Myth: Everyone should get tested for COVID-19

    Fact: Health care providers use their professional judgment and the Centers for Disease Control Prevention’s testing priorities to determine if you have signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether you should be tested. If you feel well, you do not need to be tested. Mildly ill people are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider by phone for guidance. This will help prevent the additional spread of COVID-19 and save critical healthcare resources for those at high risk and who may need supportive care. Based upon the increase in COVID-19 cases statewide, people should act as though the virus may be present when they are in public places and should be taking all recommended prevention measures, including self-monitoring for signs or symptoms of COVID-19. DO NOT go in public for essential services if you are not feeling well. Please send someone else.

  • Myth: Certain races and ethnicities are more susceptible to COVID-19.

    Fact: Misinformation about coronavirus can create fear and hostility that hurts people, leads to social stigma and makes it harder to keep everyone healthy. COVID-19 started in Wuhan, China. That's just geography. Having Chinese ancestry, or any other ancestry does not make a person more vulnerable to this illness. COVID-19 doesn't recognize race, nationality or ethnicity. People – including those of Asian descent – who do not live in or have not recently been in an area of ongoing spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, or have not been in contact with a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 are NOT at greater risk of spreading COVID-19 than other Americans.

    Stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate a disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality. Stigmatized groups may be subjected to social avoidance or rejection; denials of healthcare, education, housing or employment; physical violence; and more. Stigma affects the emotional or mental health of stigmatized groups and the communities they live in. We’re stronger as a community when we stand together against discrimination. Learn More »

  • Myth: I need to know where a COVID-19 patient has dined, shopped, what city they live in and other details to protect my health.

    Fact: Public health officials use data-driven scientific methods to identify and stop the spread of disease. With each confirmed positive case, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) communicable disease team and epidemiologists conduct investigations to identify individuals who may have come into close contact with a case. If you have been identified to be at risk, the OCDPH will contact you and take the immediate and appropriate steps to monitor, quarantine or recommend you for testing. The OCDPH continues to collaborate with the state health department and health care providers to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. People should continue to practice disease prevention measures and follow state guidelines and restrictions.

    In public health, we have the difficult task of balancing a person’s confidentiality and providing public information. We understand that it is natural for people to want to know every location where a positive case may have been. However, disclosing a location that has no to little risk to the public and does not aid disease investigation can create unnecessary public worry and potentially long-term damaging effects to those places of business, worship, school or any other location. Depending on the virus, its risk of infection to the general public and where we are at in the case investigation, public health departments may release location information if it aides in case investigation and helps to stop the spread of disease. On a case by case basis, public health will notify places where higher-risk exposures may have occurred and may ask them to distribute a public health notice.

    Because COVID-19 is likely circulating in the community, exposures could be happening anywhere. This is why it is so important to continue practicing social distancing and exceptional hygiene.

  • Myth: I should wear a mask

    Fact: If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with COVID-19 infection. If you are coughing or sneezing, wear a mask and isolate yourself. It is also important to note that masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

  • Myth: I should make my own mask.

    Fact: Ottawa County has had an overwhelming response from community members who want to help during the COVID-19 restrictions, particularly the need for medical supplies. With there being a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) across the United States, many people want to make face masks for high risk, vulnerable populations such as first responders, hospitals, shelters, long-term care facilities and other front-line staff.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that fabric masks are a crisis response option when other supplies have been exhausted. Keep in mind, homemade masks are not considered PPE since their capability to protect the health care provider or others is unknown. However, according to the CDC, if the only option for a mask is to have a homemade mask, these can only be effective when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning (soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub). If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with COVID-19 infection or wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing. Learn More »

  • Myth: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Ibuprofen, could worsen COVID-19.

    Fact: At this time, the FDA is not aware of any scientific evidence connecting the use of NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, with worsening COVID-19 symptoms. The agency is investigating this issue further and will communicate publicly when more information is available.

FEMA COVID-19 Rumor Control