COVID-19 Updates & Information from Public Health »

Department of Public Health

Provider Resources

After Hours Contact | Disease Info | Disease ReportingImmunizationsSexual Health | Updates & Health Alerts
This page is a resource for providers to access information about diseases, guidelines, treatment, programs, and health alerts and updates. For more information, or to have additional resources listed, please contact

Disease & Health Information

Alphabetical List of Diseases
Bed Bugs Manual
Free Healthy MI Materials
Head Lice Manual
Lead Poisoning Information
Rabies Assessment: When a Person Has Been Exposed
Rabies Information (MDHHS)
Rabies Post Exposure Prophylaxis
Scabies Manual
Tuberculosis (TB) Control Program (Ottawa County)
U.S. Domestic Medical Examination for Newly Arriving Refugees - Guidelines

Disease Reporting

Ottawa County Online Disease Reporting
Ottawa County Communicable Disease Reports
Guide to Disease Reporting in Michigan
List of Reportable Diseases in Michigan
Physician Reportable Disease Form


AdultVaxView for Healthcare Professionals
Alliance for Immunization in Michigan Toolkit
CDC National Immunization Program
Immunization Action Coalition
Immunization Education In-Service Dates
Instructions for the Use of Vaccine Information Statements - Required Use
MDHHS Immunization Program
Michigan Care Improvement Registry
Michigan Care Improvement Registry – Region 2
Recommended Vaccines for Healthcare Workers
Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program

Sexual Health

Expedited Partner Therapy Guidance for Health Care Providers
Legal Status of Expedited Partner Therapy in Michigan
Michigan HIV Consultation Program
Pap Screening Guidelines
Pre-exposure Prophylaxis for HIV
Providing Quality Family Planning Services
STD Treatment Guidelines
US Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010

Updates & Health Alerts from the Medical Director

October 19, 2021 - As you are likely aware, the 2-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is expected to receive FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for use in children ages 5 to 11 years old in the near future. Read More

October 8, 2021 - As we enter cold and flu season during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this is a reminder regarding the guidelines for returning to school after developing symptoms of respiratory illness, particularly if the patient/caregiver declines testing for COVID-19. Read More

September 27, 2021 - This summer, CDC released Sexually Transmitted Infections Treatment Guidelines, 2021. This document provides current evidence-based diagnostic, management, and treatment recommendations, and serves as a source of clinical guidance for managing sexually transmitted infections (STls). Read More

September 7, 2021 - The OCDPH Communicable Disease team has noted a recent trend of patients, especially older adults, presenting with symptoms that could be attributable to COVID-19, but having those symptoms attributed to other causes (eg. sinusitis, bronchitis, asthma exacerbation, etc) without COVID testing. These patients are later returning for re-evaluation and testing positive for COVID, in most cases having missed the window for therapies such as monoclonal antibodies, and in some cases leading to hospitalizations and/or outbreaks in their living facilities. Read More

August 30, 2021 - Today, after 20 years in private practice, 20 years in the US Air Force and Air Force Reserves, and 19 1/2 years at the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH), I am retiring as OCDPH Medical Director and have the privilege of welcoming the incoming OCDPH Medical Director, Dr. Gwen Unzicker. Prior to accepting this position Dr. Unzicker has been a practicing family physician and is Board Certified in Family Medicine. She has also been a faculty member of the Spectrum Health Family Medicine Residency Center, and more recently assisted with the COVID response at Kent County Health Department. I know that Dr. Unzicker will be a great addition to the OCDPH and I am sure that you will enjoy working with her. Read More

August 13, 2021 - As we are faced with yet another surge of COVID-19 in the United States, recent data has shown that more than 95% of individuals who are hospitalized and/or dying from COVID-19 are unvaccinated. Of particular concern is data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that despite these alarming statistics, only 22% of pregnant individuals in the US have received one or more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Because of this, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) and the CDC are recommending that all pregnant individuals be vaccinated against COVID-19. Read More

June 10, 2021 - The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) has received notification from the Michigan Bureau of Laboratories (BOL) that 3 bats recently submitted from Ottawa County have tested positive for rabies. Two of these bats were from the Holland area and one was from the Hudsonville area. Prior to these cases there had been a total of only 2 reported cases of rabies in bats in Ottawa County in the past 5 years. Although our surrounding counties have not noted an increase in positive cases, consultants at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) have reported that the current number of bats testing positive for rabies statewide is trending very closely to the exceptionally high number recorded in 2007 when there were 199 cases of rabies in bats and 11 cases in other animals. Read More

April 14, 2021 - The following is the most recent CDC Health Alert addressing the current concerns pertaining to the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will hold an emergency meeting today, April 14, from 1:30 to 4:30 PM, to further review/discuss these issues and assess their potential significance. Until this review is completed and further guidance is provided, the CDC and FDA are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution. Read More

April 13, 2021 - The following is a joint message from the CDC and FDA regarding the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Do not administer this vaccine. Clinics that are scheduled to administer Johnson & Johnson vaccine should be rescheduled to use a different vaccine. If you have an inventory of this vaccine, please separate it in your storage unit and store it appropriately until further notice. Read More

March 9, 2021 - The FDA is currently investigating a multi-state outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes that has been linked to Mexican-style cheeses. There have been 11 illnesses, 10 hospitalizations and 1 death within four states; however, there have been no deaths reported in Michigan. The following retail establishments in the Holland area may have received the soft queso cheese that tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. Read More

January 21, 2021 - All contacts to COVID-19 cases are required to be quarantined unless they have been previously confirmed as having COVID-19 within the last 90 days. Positive antibody testing does NOT negate quarantine for individuals identified as COVID-19 contacts Read More

January 12, 2021 - As the US rolls out the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for COVID-19, all of us as health professionals are anxious to have the vaccine distributed as quickly and as widely as possible. Unfortunately, the demand for vaccine far exceeds the current supply. Despite Gov. Whitmer’s message that we may now proceed to phase 1B distribution, Ottawa County, like many other Michigan counties, is still in phase 1A due to a very limited allotment of vaccine. Read More

November 2, 2020 - This order is made pursuant to Section 2251 of the Michigan Public Health Code, MCL 333.2433 and MCL 333.2453; effective October 31, 2020 at 12:00 a.m. and remains in effect until November 14, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. If rates of infection among facility residents continue to rise, this order may be extended beyond November 14, 2020 or more restrictive measures may be required. Read More

October 15, 2020 - As we deal with an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Ottawa County, you may be called upon by the school system to determine if symptoms exhibited by students or staff members are secondary to COVID-19, or if they represent another clinical entity. Because of the significant clinical and public health implications, any student or teacher who is referred to you to rule out COVID-19 will require a school readmission note. Read More

September 14, 2020 - With children returning to school for what will be a challenging year for everyone, new guidelines and protocols are currently in place to help ensure the health and safety of all students and staff. Although we are all hoping for an uneventful year we know that COVI D-19 will remain a definite threat for the next several months and because of this we will need your assistance in making these guidelines work. Read More

August 7, 2020 - The "MI Safe Schools Roadmap" for the coming school year requires the use of face masks for all students, teachers and staff. PreK-5 students will be required to wear them in the hallways, common areas and during bus transportation; students in grades 6-12 will be required to wear them in these areas as well as in the classroom. To be exempt from this requirement a student must present the attached waiver form to the school secretary signed by a licensed MD or DO. Read More

June 29, 2020 - The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is now a part of the Great Lakes Health Connect (GLHC) Bridge Referral Application system. The GLHC Bridge Referral application offers healthcare organizations and providers a secure system for sending and receiving referrals throughout Michigan. This application allows for improved communication, increased efficiency, and enhanced care coordination. Read More

June 26, 2020 - Hearing and Vision Screening Update: The Ottawa County Department of Public Health is committed to promoting and protecting the health of our children and families. Due to COVID-19, we have reduced capacity for conducting hearing and vision screenings this summer. For this reason, we will be prioritizing screening children who are starting kindergarten this fall in compliance with the Michigan Public Health Code Read More

June 4, 2020 - This weekend the Ottawa County Department of Public Health is partnering with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan National Guard to sponsor free COVID-19 testing here in Ottawa County. Read More

April 20, 2020 - A reminder from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) that COVID-19 is a reportable disease. If you make a diagnose of COVID-19, either from a positive test result or from clinical presentation, please be sure to enter the diagnosis into the Michigan Disease Surveillance System (MOSS) or notify the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) via fax at 616-393-5767. Please include any pertinent demographics, lab reports and office notes. This will allow OCDPH to complete the necessary contact investigation and surveillance measures, as well as inform the patient concerning public health requirements related to COVID-19. Read More

March 23, 2020 - As testing for COVID-19 becomes more widespread, the incidence of positive test results within our community has steadily increased. It has always been the policy of the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) to give primary care providers the opportunity to notify their patients of any positive test results prior to follow-up by OCDPH. Currently, however, positive COVID-19 test results are frequently being received from testing centers without the names of primary care providers. Also, results are being received over the weekends when offices are closed which makes immediate physician notification extremely difficult. Because of this, OCDPH will now be notifying individuals directly of positive COVI D-19 results as soon as they are received so that contact investigation can be initiated. Read More

March 20, 2020 - Testing is an integral part of identifying and limiting the spread of COVI D-19 within our community. Several options for testing are currently available: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Bureau of Laboratories (BOL) and commercial testing is also available through Quest Laboratory, Labcorp and ARUP. Additionally, patients can initiate the COVID-19 testing process by calling for a screening interview at one of the sample collection sites. Read More

March 6, 2020 - Testing criteria for COVID-19 has recently been modified and no longer requires a patient to be hospitalized before testing can be completed. Instead, testing is now left up to the clinician's discretion based on clinical and epidemiologic factors. Read More

January 24, 2020 - The Ottawa County Department of Public Health was notified late yesterday afternoon of an outbreak of chickenpox among students attending Zeeland Early Childhood Center. Based on Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Varicella Guidance, an accelerated dose of varicella vaccine is being recommended for all children who have received one dose of varicella vaccine but not the second. Read More

January 23, 2020 - Currently, there have been more than 570 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) reported worldwide, as well as 17 deaths. Most of these cases have occurred in China, although cases have also been confirmed in Taiwan, Japan, Thailand and South Korea. One U.S. case was reported earlier this week in Washington state but there are no other known U.S. cases at this time. The CDC states the risk to residents in the U.S. is low; however, this may change if the outbreak becomes more widespread. Read More

September 9, 2019 - As of September 6, 2019, thirty-three states have reported more than 450 cases of severe pulmonary disease associated with the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), including three deaths. The CDC is currently coordinating a multistate investigation of this disease and, based on available information, it appears that the disease is likely caused by a chemical exposure associated with "vaping", although no single causative product or substance has been identified. Read More

August 27, 2019 - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services sent out information concerning Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) activity in Michigan. Although there have been no reported cases of EEE in Ottawa County, there have been two confirmed human cases in Kalamazoo and Berrien Counties, as well as six equine deaths from EEE in Barry, Kalamazoo and St. Joseph counties. Read More

August 14, 2019 - As another school year approaches, chickenpox continues to be a health concern in Ottawa County. To limit the spread of disease within schools, daycare centers and other similar settings, all individuals diagnosed with chickenpox are excluded from school and group settings until they are no longer contagious; all unimmunized contacts without history of prior disease are excluded from school and group settings for 21 days from the date of their last exposure. Since this period of exclusion can have a significant impact on individuals and their families, and because other diseases can closely resemble chickenpox, public health authorities, including the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), are recommending laboratory confirmation of all clinically diagnosed cases of chickenpox. Read More

March 28, 2019 - As the measles outbreak continues to spread it is important we provide you with the latest updates from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). Outlined is detailed measles information pertinent to medical providers. Currently, there have been no reported cases of measles in Ottawa County. However, medical providers are encouraged to maintain a high level of awareness for this disease. Read More

March 14, 2019 - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Oakland County Health Division confirmed a case of travel-related measles visiting from Israel following a stay in New York. Individuals may have been exposed to measles at the following locations: Read More

October 30, 2018 - With the announcement yesterday of elevated PFAS levels in the drinking water at Robinson Elementary School you may receive (or may have already received) questions from your patients concerning the health effect of PFAS. The State of Michigan has put together an excellent resource on PFAS which can be found at Read More

October 26, 2018 - The Ottawa County Department of Public Health received notification this week from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) of a suspected case of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) in an Ottawa County resident. Although MDHHS has forwarded this case to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for further investigation, it may be several weeks before it can be determined whether or not this diagnosis is confirmed.
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September 14, 2018 - Hepatitis A exposure at the Michigan Renaissance Festival
The Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) issued a health advisory about an attendee of the Michigan Renaissance Festival (Holly, Michigan) who has a confirmed case of hepatitis A and was ill while attending the festival on September 1. The OCHD strongly recommends those who attended and worked at the festival on September 1, September 2 and September 3 be vaccinated within 14 days.
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August 23, 2018 - Recently, there has been an increase in the number of Legionella cases in Ottawa, Kent and Muskegon Counties, as well as in Region 6 overall. An increase in cases has also been noted statewide. Although no common source for these infections has been identified, the increase is being closely monitored by state and local public health officials. If you suspect a possible case of Legionella please obtain the Legionella urinary antigen test, as well as lower respiratory specimens for culture on Legionella specific media to enable the detection of all Legionella serogroups.
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August 22, 2018 - Medical Providers are asked to have an increased awareness when treating patients presenting with influenza-like illness with travel history to Grand Rapids during the week of August 12, 2018, and to collect nasopharyngeal swabs for submission to the MDHHS Bureau of Laboratories (BOL). Read More

August 14, 2018 - Cases and outbreaks of chickenpox continue to occur in Michigan. Since the diagnosis of chickenpox has significant implications for both the individual and those in contact with them, public health authorities are requesting that health care providers obtain laboratory confirmation of all clinically diagnosed chickenpox cases. To limit the spread of the disease within schools, day care centers and other similar settings, all diagnosed cases are currently excluded from group settings until they are no longer contagious and all unimmunized contacts may be excluded from group settings for 21 days after exposure. Read More

May 25, 2018 - CDC Health Advisory concerning potentially fatal coagulopathies resulting from synthetic cannabinoids. There have been no cases reported to date in Michigan but please be aware of this possibility in your clinical practice. Read More

November 6, 2017 - The OCDPH received communication last week from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services concerning the hepatitis A outbreak in Michigan. This outbreak is part of a multistate outbreak which has included cases in California, Oregon and Utah. Read More

September 7, 2017 - As a follow-up to the Pertussis Health Alert we sent you last week, we are forwarding guidelines from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) concerning the investigation, diagnosis and treatment of this disease. Read More

August 31, 2017 - So far this year the number of cases of pertussis in Ottawa County has more than tripled compared to the number of cases reported all of last year. To help reduce the incidence of this disease, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health requests your assistance in the follow ways: Read More

April 11, 2017 - The Ottawa County Department of Public Health is offering Elevated Blood Lead Nursing Case Management (EBL NCM) for children who have a venous blood lead level of ≥5 μg/dL. The goal of these services is to reduce a child’s lead level below 5 μg/dL. EBL NCM encompasses a range of activities designed to educate families about the dangers of elevated blood lead levels and connect them to supportive services. Read More

December 8, 2016 - Cases and outbreaks of chickenpox continue to occur in Michigan. Since the diagnosis of chickenpox has significant implications for both the individual and those in contact with them, public health authorities are requesting that healthcare providers obtain laboratory confirmation of all clinically diagnosed chickenpox cases. To limit the spread of disease within schools, day care centers and other similar settings, all diagnosed cases are currently excluded from group settings until they are no longer contagious and all unimmunized contacts may be excluded from group settings for 21 days after exposure. Since there are other diseases that closely resemble chickenpox, it is important that a diagnosis of chickenpox be confirmed so that individuals are not improperly excluded from school or work. Read More

August 3, 2016 - A swine at the Muskegon County Fair has been diagnosed with swine flu. At least one individual associated with the fair became ill with influenza-like symptoms. Although there were nine exhibitors from Ottawa County that had swine at the fair, we have not received any reports of illness in Ottawa County residents related to this event. Read More

June 23, 2016 - CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted that live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), also known as the "nasal spray" flu vaccine, should not be used during the 2016-2017 flu season. Read More

May 19, 2016 - The MDHHS recently reported a 57% increase in the number of chickenpox (varicella) cases in the State of Michigan.  To better evaluate this increase, MDHHS is requesting that, whenever possible, clinicians confirm suspected cases by laboratory means. Read More

April 18, 2016 - New information is coming out almost daily on the Zika virus. To stay informed on this serious disease outbreak you are encouraged to check the CDC website frequently at Read More

January 21, 2016 - CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Report (MMWR) "Interim Guidelines for Pregnant Women During a Zika Virus Outbreak- United States 2016.
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