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Ottawa County Media Room



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Our goal is to be receptive, responsive and transparent.  Members of the media seeking interviews or information are encouraged to contact the Communications Manager, Shannon Felgner, (616)-738-4672.

A handful of County Offices respond to media inquiries directly including:
Ottawa County Department of Public Health - Alison Clark, (616)-494-5597
Ottawa County Community Mental Health - Anna Bednarek (616) 494-5545
Ottawa County Parks & Recreation - Jessica VanGinhoven (616) 994-4716
Ottawa County Road Commission - Alex Doty (616) 850-7221
Ottawa County Sheriff's Office - (616) 738-4000
If you are having trouble determining to whom you should direct your inquiry, the Communications Manager is a great place to start. 

Current Media Releases

July 1, 2022

County seeks community input on ARPA spending

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a COVID-19 relief package, was signed into law in March 2021. This Act includes billions in federal funding for state and local governments. This federal aid is intended to address economic impacts of the pandemic and ensure a strong recovery. Determined to utilize these one-time federal resources wisely, Ottawa County formed the American Rescue Plan Act Committee. Appointed by the Board of Commissioners, the committee is comprised of 19 community members representing a cross-section of local public and private organizations. The committee's sole purpose is to guide the Board of Commissioners on how to spend the $57 million that the County has received from ARPA

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June 27, 2022

Administrator's Digest - June 27, 2022

Greetings! Many residents have been asking where Ottawa County stands with the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) spending. In March 2021, Congress passed a COVID-19 relief package called the ARPA. This Act includes billions in federal funding for state and local governments. This federal aid is intended to address economic impacts of the pandemic and ensure a strong recovery. Ottawa County will receive about $57 million...

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June 27, 2022

May 2022 Ottawa County Unemployment Rate

The preliminary unemployment rates for May 2022 were released recently by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. Ottawa County's unemployment rate for May measured 3.2%. This unemployment rate is currently the lowest in Michigan, with 8.9% in Roscommon County currently the highest. Forty-five of Michigan's counties exhibited a decline in their jobless rate from April to May. Over the course of the year, jobless rates have receded for all eighty-three Michigan counties.

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June 22, 2022

COVID-19 Testing Offered in Ottawa and Allegan County

Free, walk-in COVID-19 testing will be available throughout the summer months in Ottawa and Allegan counties. Testing is available for anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to COVID-19 or who has symptoms.

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June 21, 2022

Ottawa County Department of Public Health Announces Distribution of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Under the Age of Five

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is announcing today that it will begin providing the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for children under the age of five on June 22, 2022.

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June 10, 2022

Administrator's Digest - June 10, 2022

Greetings! My name is John Shay, and the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners appointed me as the new County Administrator on March 24, 2022. Prior to my appointment as County Administrator, I worked as the Deputy County Administrator for Ottawa County since July 2018. Before that, I was the Ludington City Manager for over 15 years...

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June 10, 2022

Court closure on June 20 in observance of Juneteenth

On June 1, 2022, the Michigan Supreme Court recognized Juneteenth as an official court holiday, to be celebrated this year on June 20. Juneteenth is an important day of remembrance, as it celebrates the day (June 19, 1865) when Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas and enforced the law freeing the people still enslaved there.

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June 9, 2022

County breaks ground on new Family Justice Center

"Let the construction begin." Those were the words from 20th Circuit Court Chief Judge John Van Allsburg today as Ottawa County officials broke ground on the new Family Justice Center.

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June 3, 2022

Ottawa County Department of Public Health Update

You may be wondering what COVID-19 prevention strategies you should consider now that CDC COVID-19 Community Levels vary across the state and the country, and now that the summer travel season is upon us. Currently, Ottawa County remains in the 'Low' category, but you may be planning to visit somewhere in the 'Medium' or 'High' categories. Here are some prevention strategies you can consider.

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June 3, 2022

Ottawa County to break ground on new Family Justice Center

Ottawa County officials are set to break ground on the new Family Justice Center with a ceremony on June 9 at 10 a.m. The new 56,000-square-foot facility will bring all of the departments of the 20th Circuit Court's Family Division under one roof on the West Olive campus. This includes Juvenile Court, Friend of the Court and other related offices to provide coordinated and centralized services to residents.

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June 1, 2022

Low Unemployment Continues in Ottawa County

The preliminary unemployment rates for April 2022 were released recently by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. Ottawa County's unemployment rate measured 2.8%. This unemployment rate is currently the second lowest in Michigan, with rates ranging from 2.7% in Livingston County to 13.7% in Mackinac County.

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June 1, 2022

Ottawa County Continues To Grow Going Into the New Decade

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on the beginning of the 2020s, Ottawa County remains the 7th most populated county in Michigan, with an estimated 2021 population of 299,157, an increase of 2,957 from 2020.

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May 12, 2022

Ottawa County ranks as the second healthiest in Michigan, according to the 2022 County Health Rankings

According to the 2022 County Health Rankings (CHR), Ottawa County ranks among the healthiest counties in Michigan. The annual report ranks Michigan counties based on data collected in two areas: Health Outcomes and Health Factors. Ottawa County ranked number two out of 83 counties in the State of Michigan in both categories.

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Current Media Releases

April 29, 2022

Ottawa County Department of Public Health Update

Case rates, test positivity and wastewater surveillance are all showing an increase in Ottawa County, and the State of Michigan is anticipating a COVID-19 surge as we head into May. Hospitalizations and deaths are not expected to reach numbers seen during previous COVID-19 surges, but now is a good time to think about how to prepare for the upcoming surge. Take a look at the information below and consider whether there are any steps you need to take.

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April 28, 2022

Michigan Community Mental Health - Medication Take Back Event April 30, 2022

Proper disposal of medications, sharps, and vapes is not only good for the environment but it provides a safe method to remove these items from your home. Community Mental Health of Ottawa County and Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital are partnering with Michigan OPEN and the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department to host a medication take back event on Saturday, April 30th from 10am-2pm.

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April 25, 2022

March 2022 Ottawa County Unemployment Rate

The preliminary unemployment rates for March 2022 were released recently by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. Ottawa County's unemployment rate measured 3%. This unemployment rate is currently the lowest in Michigan, with rates ranging from 3% here in Ottawa County to 14.5% in Mackinac County.

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April 21, 2022

Broadband survey confirms coverage gaps

The results of Ottawa County's comprehensive Broadband Data Collection Survey are in - and they reveal that 10.5% of residents do not have access to fixed (wired or wireless) high-speed internet. Furthermore, 26% of those with fixed broadband access it at speeds slower than the FCC's minimum broadband threshold, a standard widely considered insufficient.

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April 18, 2022

Defenders Office Holding Expungement Clinic

The Ottawa County Public Defender Office is hosting an expungement clinic for those wishing to have a criminal conviction set aside. "In Ottawa County, we understand that some residents have made mistakes in their pasts, have served their sentences, and are on roads to better lives. Criminal records can put obstacles in those paths for those residents and their families. We want to ease that burden so these residents can more easily find jobs, housing and other opportunities for better futures," said Patrick Kolehouse, Assistant Public Defender.

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April 12, 2022

New Public Defender Appointed for Ottawa County

Nichole Jongsma Derks is the newest Public Defender for Ottawa County. The Public Defender post was vacated earlier this year upon the retirement of Robert Hamilton.

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April 12, 2022

New Chief Deputy County Clerk Appointed for Ottawa County

Ottawa County Clerk and Register of Deeds Justin Roebuck announced that as of March 7, 2022, he has appointed Renee Kuiper as Chief Deputy County Clerk. The Chief Deputy Clerk position was previously held by Sherri Sayles, who retired in December of 2021 after 33 years of service with Ottawa County.

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April 12, 2022

Drain board to hear testimony on proposed Black Creek maintenance

The Drainage Board for the Black Creek of Zeeland Intercounty Drain will hold a Practicability Hearing at the Zeeland East High School Dewitt Auditorium on April 13, 2022, at 3:30 p.m. The purpose of the hearing is to consider a petition requesting maintenance of the Drain and the consolidation of the Drain with other county drains along the Macatawa River.

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April 4, 2022

Ottawa County Preliminary Unemployment Rate for February 2022

The preliminary unemployment rates for February 2022 were released recently by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. Since January, Ottawa County's unemployment rate has remained at 3.4%.

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April 1, 2022

Major investment in extension of Grand River Greenway in Kent County

The Grand River Greenway project has been a primary focus for the Ottawa County Parks and Recreation since its inception in 1987. Although most work by the County on the Greenway has been within the approximately 40-mile stretch of the River within Ottawa County, there has long been a sense that it was a concept that could grow.

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March 29, 2022

Shady Side Farm awarded MDARD farmland preservation funds

Mike Bronkema, co-owner and operator of Shady Side Farm in Olive Township, is no stranger to the idea of farmland preservation. "In '92 we bought the farm that we're on," said the Holland-area native. "The farmer that sold me the land that I'm on wanted to see it preserved. He wanted me to buy the farm because he knew I was going to farm it instead of subdividing it."

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March 28, 2022

Sign of Spring: Severe Weather Warning Siren Test

The first of several monthly outdoor warning siren tests for 2022 in Ottawa County will happen on Friday, April 1 at noon. These tests will continue through October on the first Friday of each month.

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March 24, 2022

Ottawa County Board Votes John Shay as next Ottawa County Administrator

By a unanimous vote, the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners have extended an offer to John Shay to serve as the next County Administrator. Terms of the contract including wages and other benefits will be finalized in the coming weeks.

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March 21, 2022

Ottawa County Preliminary Unemployment Rate for January 2022

The preliminary unemployment rates for January 2022 were released recently by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. Since December, Ottawa County's unemployment rate has increased to 3.4%.

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March 21, 2022

Public Interview Scheduled for County Administrator Finalist

Following an extensive national search, a selection committee is recommending that the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners move forward with a familiar candidate, John Shay, for consideration as the next County Administrator.

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March 15, 2022

Stomach bug circulating in the community

Norovirus-like illness (stomach bug) is circulating in the community and is increasing. It spreads very easily and quickly person to person by touching surfaces contaminated with vomit or stool. Common norovirus outbreak settings are in enclosed places like nursing homes, daycare centers, schools and cruise ships.

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March 10, 2022

Apply Now for Ottawa County's Citizen Police Academy

The multi-session Citizen Police Academy offers 25 citizens an inside look at law enforcement. Sessions are from 6 to 9PM on Thursdays from May 5 through June 30.

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March 7, 2022

Bi-Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update

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.

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  • Older Media Releases

    February 18, 2022

    Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update

    We continue to feel encouraged about the improvement in positivity, case rates, and hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Ottawa County. Across the state and nation, similar trends are being observed. Ottawa County hospitals are reporting less strain than previous weeks – staffing challenges are resolving, less emergency department diversion is being used, and some facilities are returning to usual care processes.

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    February 16, 2022

    Apply NOW to preserve your Ottawa County farm!

    Back in the early 1990s, Matt Hehl was starting to think about buying the family farm from his father. Although Hehlden Farm in Polkton Township had been owned by a Hehl since the 19th century, passing it on to the next generation wasn't a sure thing. Having enough money to buy the farm from his parents was already a tall order. Encouraging his father to prepare for retirement was a struggle, too.

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    February 11, 2022

    Fifth Judgeship Added to Ottawa County Circuit Court

    On Wednesday, Governor Whitmer signed legislation adding a fifth judgeship to the 20th Judicial Circuit Court. This action was a long time coming, although the judges of this Court understood the need for an additional judgeship for Michigan's seventh largest and fastest-growing county, it wasn't until the additional judgeship was recommended by the State Court Administrative Office in the 2019 Judicial Resources Report that the need was more widely recognized.

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    February 8, 2022

    Let the analysis begin! Ottawa County broadband internet initiative marches forward

    Since June 2021, Ottawa County - in collaboration with Merit Network, Inc. - has been surveying area residents and businesses to capture a more accurate picture of local high-speed internet access and connection speeds. This data includes - but is not limited to - households with access to broadband and those without; households struggling to pay for broadband; and the reliability of existing broadband networks.

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    February 7, 2022

    Free KN95 Masks Available at Locations Throughout Ottawa County

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is offering free adult KN95 masks to community members at several pick-up locations throughout Ottawa County, while supplies last.

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    February 4, 2022

    Ottawa County Parks mourns the loss of Bea Idema

    The Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission and Ottawa County Parks Foundation mourn the loss of Bea Idema, who was a long-time supporter of the county parks system. Bea leaves Ottawa County Parks with a legacy of generosity that will touch the hearts and souls of our community for generations to come.

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    February 2, 2022

    Virtual Townhall Meetings Planned for Hazard Mitigation Plan

    Kent and Ottawa Counties and the City of Grand Rapids are holding three virtual townhall meetings to gather stakeholder input on the Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan. This plan is a comprehensive analysis of our regional hazards and vulnerabilities and potential ways to decrease the effects of those hazards. The regional plan is a requirement to be eligible for FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Funds for pre and post disasters.

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    January 31, 2022

    Give Kids a Smile Day to be held in Ottawa County on February 4 at the Holland Language Academy

    On Friday, February 4, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) will participate in Give Kids a Smile Day at the Holland Language Academy. Held annually on the first Friday of February during National Children's Dental Health Month, Give Kids a Smile Day provides underserved children with free oral health care at events across the United States. The event also raises awareness about the number of children with unmet dental needs and the obstacles they face when seeking dental care.

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    January 31, 2022

    Ottawa County Preliminary Unemployment Rate for December 2021

    The preliminary unemployment rates for December 2021 were released recently by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. Since November, Ottawa County's unemployment rate has remained at 3.2%. This unemployment rate is currently the second-lowest unemployment rate in Michigan, with rates ranging from 3.0% in Livingston County to 13.0% in Mackinac County.

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    January 27, 2022

    Sibshops peer support groups now offered in Ottawa County for siblings of children with special needs

    Sibshops peer support groups are now being offered in Ottawa County for brothers and sisters of children with special needs. The Sibshops offer an engaging space for siblings to be heard, understood, and supported.

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    January 21, 2022

    Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update

    Pediatric hospitalizations at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital are at their highest level since the start of the pandemic. Test positivity is also at the highest level we've seen throughout the pandemic, as the Omicron variant continues to cause widespread infection. Although infection with the Omicron variant may be milder for some people than infection with previous variants, many people are still becoming severely ill, some are requiring hospitalization, and deaths from both the Delta surge and the Omicron surge are continuing.

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    January 17, 2022

    Ottawa County Courts Pause Jury Trials

    Jury trials expected to resume in February

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    January 14, 2022

    Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update

    The COVID-19 pandemic has been a long and tiring journey for our community, but we are not to the finish line yet. New pandemic highs for weekly case counts, continued deaths, a health care system under strain, and the now-dominant Omicron variant - can cause all of us to feel like fighting COVID-19 is not only a never-ending battle, but one we can't win.

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    January 12, 2022

    Keep your farm growing for generations with free succession planning consultations

    Hit any local market or farmstand from St. Joseph to Cadillac and you'll see a myriad of locally produced products of all types for sale - blueberries, corn, soybeans, and beef, just to name a few. Modern cold storage techniques and greenhouses mean residents can easily buy locally grown lettuce, apples, and root vegetables in the dead of winter. Ottawa County farmers alone produce more than $506 million in products annually (2017 Agriculture Census). With all this abundance, Michigan's farms must be doing better than ever - right?

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    January 11, 2022

    Kent County Health Department and Ottawa County Department of Public Health Reconcile Public Health Order to Match State and Federal Guidelines

    The Kent County Health Department and the Ottawa County Department of Public Health are reconciling the Public Health Order of August 6, 2021 regarding K-12 school quarantine and isolation to reflect recent updates made by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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    January 10, 2022

    State expands Children's Special Health Care Services coverage to adults with sickle cell disease

    Michigan adults over age 21 are now eligible for health care coverage for sickle cell disease through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

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    January 10, 2022

    County recognized for Spoonville Trail

    West Michigan's natural beauty and convenient location to major metropolitan areas make it a popular destination for recreation. Ottawa County for decades has worked to increase recreational opportunities by carefully planning for and developing a system of non-motorized trails through some of the region's most stunning landscapes. This dedication to the public good hasn't gone unnoticed - on December 15, 2021, Ottawa County's Department of Strategic Impact (DSI) was honored by the American Public Works Association (APWA) Michigan - Midwest Branch with a Public Works Project of the Year Award for its work on Spoonville Trail.

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    January 7, 2022

    Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update

    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.

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    January 6, 2022

    Pigeon Creek Lodge will open TODAY at 2 pm

    The Pigeon Creek Lodge will open for cross-country ski and snowshoe rentals today at 2 pm!

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    January 5, 2022

    Ottawa County Court Administrator Selected

    Following a 44-year career in the judicial system, including nearly 19 years in Ottawa County, Court Administrator Kevin J Bowling announced his plans to retire on January 14th. This announcement began a four-month recruitment and selection process that was completed this week.

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    January 4, 2022

    Omicron variant detected in Ottawa County

    The first confirmed cases of the COVID-19 variant, Omicron (B.1.1.529), have been detected in Ottawa County. The six cases were confirmed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) on Tuesday, January 3, based on tests collected between December 17 and December 21. Spanish

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    January 4, 2022

    Ottawa County Preliminary Unemployment Rate for November 2021

    The preliminary unemployment rates for November 2021 were released recently by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. Since October, Ottawa County's unemployment rate has decreased from 3.5% to 3.2%. This is currently the third-lowest unemployment rate in Michigan, with rates ranging from 2.5% in Livingston County to 9.0% in Mackinac County.

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    January 3, 2022

    Ottawa County Commissioners Elect Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson

    The Ottawa County Board of Commissioners unanimously elected Matt Fenske (District 11) as chairperson and Al Dannenberg (District 4) as vice-chairperson at today's Ottawa County Board Organizational Meeting.

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    December 30, 2021

    Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update

    On December 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated guidance which shortened the recommended isolation period for someone with COVID-19, as well as quarantine guidance for those exposed to someone with COVID-19. You can read the CDC's statement on the changes here.

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    December 17, 2021

    Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update

    On Monday, December 20, the CDC announced that Omicron has overtaken Delta as the dominant variant in the United States. The variant has now been detected in most states. As noted in the progression chart below, it only took 17 days after Omicron was first detected in the U.S. for it make up an estimated 73% of U.S. COVID-19 infections.

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    December 17, 2021

    Major Gift for Idema Explorers Camp at Ottawa Sands

    Ottawa County Parks Foundation announces receipt of major gift which will help the Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission build the “Idema Explorers Camp” and related amenities at Ottawa Sands County Parks, adding unique overnight accommodations to the Grand River Greenway and 2,479-acre corridor of connected dune lands.

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    December 16, 2021

    Power outage closes Ottawa's Fillmore Complex

    The Ottawa County Fillmore Complex in West Olive is currently without power, impacting its ability to serve customers. This includes the Sheriff headquarters, Clerk, Register of Deeds and Treasurer offices as well as today's inmate visits at the jail and hearings in the West Olive court.

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    December 15, 2021

    Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update

    Scientific studies on the Omicron variant and its impact on vaccine effectiveness are beginning to reveal valuable information about what we can expect in the coming months. Based on Omicron's spread in the United Kingdom, it appears it is much more contagious, as cases there are doubling every three days. While we don't know yet how this variant will spread in the United States, we expect to see cases caused by the Omicron variant showing up in Ottawa County very soon.

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    December 14, 2021

    Deadline to apply for Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is 12/30/21

    The temporary Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB), launched in 2021 to help households afford high-speed internet service during the pandemic, is being replaced by a permanent Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Just like the EBB, the ACP will continue to provide eligible households with a discount on broadband internet service and connected devices.

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    December 8, 2021

    Ottawa County Preliminary Unemployment Rate for October 2021

    The preliminary unemployment rates for October 2021 were released recently by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. Since September, Ottawa County's unemployment rate has decreased from 4.1% to 3.5%. This is currently the fourth-lowest unemployment rate in Michigan, with rates ranging from 2.8% in Livingston County to 7.9% in Roscommon County.

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    December 8, 2021

    Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update

    The new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, was detected in the U.S. on Wednesday, December 1, and has now been detected in at least 17 states. Scientists worldwide are still investigating how Omicron spreads, whether it causes more severe illness and what kind of protection vaccines will offer. We expect to be able to provide a more thorough update on Omicron in our next COVID-19 bulletin.

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    December 7, 2021

    Ottawa County Department of Public Health Encourages Flu Vaccinations during National Influenza Vaccination Week

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is encouraging all residents to receive their annual influenza (flu) vaccine in recognition of National Influenza Vaccination Week, being observed December 5 – 11. The flu vaccine is available to anyone six months of age or older and can reduce the risk of illness and the potentially serious consequences of the flu. In addition, anyone age five or older can receive their COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot at the same time they receive the flu vaccine.

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    December 1, 2021

    Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update

    With the increase in the number COVID-19 cases in Michigan, hospitals throughout the state and in West Michigan are at or near bed capacity levels, putting access to health care services at risk, not only for COVID patients, but for anyone seeking care. The current surge in cases can be attributed to the highly transmissible Delta variant which is primarily spreading among those who are unvaccinated. OCDPH expect to see a continued rise in cases as people gather for the holidays, which may cause further stain on the healthcare system.

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    November 30, 2021

    The list you've been waiting 'fur' all year 🐶

    For the fifth year running, the name Bella retrieves the top spot as the most popular dog name in Ottawa County

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    November 29, 2021

    Van Allsburg Receives Prestigious Marilyn J. Kelly Award

    The State Bar of Michigan recognized Ottawa County's 20th Circuit Court Chief Judge Jon Van Allsburg with the Marilyn J. Kelly Award for Outstanding Judicial Service in Family Law.

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    November 22, 2021

    Ottawa County Offices Closed in Observance of Thanksgiving

    Ottawa County offices will be closed on Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. All offices will reopen Monday, November 29 at 8 a.m.

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    November 19, 2021

    Bi-Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is today raising the level of concern about the current high level of COVID-19 transmission in the community, which is threatening access to health care systems. OCDPH is urging community members to do everything they can, between today and New Year’s Day, to bring transmission down and preserve access to the County’s already strained health systems.

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    November 18, 2021

    Ottawa County Department of Public Health raises level of concern on County’s latest COVID surge and health system strain

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is today raising the level of concern about the current high level of COVID-19 transmission in the community, which is threatening access to health care systems. OCDPH is urging community members to do everything they can, between today and New Year’s Day, to bring transmission down and preserve access to the County’s already strained health systems.

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    November 16, 2021

    A Home for the Holidays: Ottawa Celebrates Adoption Day

    The holiday season is a time filled with joy and gratitude for family. Many Michigan children, however, spend the holidays without a family to call their own. On November 23, the 20th Circuit Court will celebrate Adoption Day, giving several families more to be grateful for as they head into the Thanksgiving holiday. Celebrate alongside the families and county staff via the live streamed events.

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    November 15, 2021

    Ottawa County releases the 2021 Healthy Ottawa Plan

    A consortium of key health and human service leaders in Ottawa County, the Healthy Ottawa Advisory Council, are today announcing the 2021 Healthy Ottawa Plan, detailing the results of the 2020 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), and recommendations for how to create a healthier Ottawa County. The Council is calling on community organizations and individuals to get involved and be part of the solution.

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    November 11, 2021

    Bi-Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update

    On November 2, the CDC authorized emergency use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 years old. Clinics are being held in Ottawa County and approximately 550 kids have already received their first dose of the vaccine. The August 20 Order requiring face masks in educational settings will expire on January 2, 2022 at 5:00 pm. OCDPH is encouraging parents to obtain their child’s first dose of the vaccine before November 29, which will allow kids to receive their second dose and be fully vaccinated before the Order expires. Vaccine clinics and appointments can be found at Vaccinate West Michigan or by calling your healthcare provider or pharmacy. Please register for only one appointment for each child and nothing additional on other clinic dates or times. We do not anticipate any vaccine supply issues and we will make sure your child receives their COVID-19 vaccine at your scheduled appointment.

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    November 3, 2021

    OCDPH Announces Distribution of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for Children Ages 5-11

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is announcing today that it will begin distribution of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5 – 11 on Saturday, November 6. The vaccine was authorized for emergency use by the FDA on October 29, 2021 and on November 2, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its recommendation to make the vaccine available for use in children ages 5-11.

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    November 2, 2021

    Ottawa County Preliminary Unemployment Rate for September 2021

    The preliminary unemployment rates for September 2021 were released recently by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. Since August, Ottawa County's unemployment rate has decreased from 3.4% to 3.2%. This is currently the seventh-lowest unemployment rate in Michigan, with rates ranging from 1.9% in Livingston County to 6.7% in Montmorency County.

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    October 29, 2021

    Bi-Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update

    We have recently updated our COVID-19 website miottawa.org/COVID19 to make it more accessible and easier to navigate. All of the important and up-to-date resources and guidance you've come to expect are still there, just in a new format!

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    October 26, 2021

    OCDPH Offers COVID-19 Booster Doses for Eligible Groups

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is now offering Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine booster doses to eligible residents. The Centers of Disease and Control (CDC) has advised that different types of vaccines can be mixed safely, and individuals can choose which vaccine they would like to receive for their booster shot. OCDPH recommends consulting your physician to determine which vaccine is right for you.

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    October 20, 2021

    Ottawa County's Sandra Lake Honored with Excellence in Equity Award

    Sandra Lake, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health's Community Health Manager, has been named the 2021 Excellence in Equity Award recipient. The news was announced today at the Ottawa County Diversity Forum. Because the forum was held virtually again this year, the Award Decision Committee surprised Lake with the announcement on Friday, October 15. Watch the video of Sandra Lake receiving her award.

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    October 14, 2021

    The Farmhouse of Zeeland wins Farms are the Tapas chefs' competition

    Close to 100 people showed their support for farmland preservation on Thursday, Sept. 30, at Ottawa County's fifth-annual Farms are the Tapas fundraising dinner and silent auction at Terra Square in Hudsonville, Mich.

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    October 14, 2021

    Ottawa County, Michigan Community Mental Health Press Releases Update Participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

    Opioid overdoses continue to be one of the greatest public health crises facing families and communities across the county and here in Michigan. In 2018, there were more deaths from drug overdoses than car crashes, according to state representatives. Many of these deaths are the result of someone taking pain medication illegally, without a prescription. Medication Take Back events provide safe locations for disposing of unused or expired medications while also protecting communities and the environment.

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    October 13, 2021

    COVID-19 Testing

    With the continued rise in COVID-19 exposures and cases as a result of the Delta variant, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is receiving many questions on the availability of COVID-19 testing. COVID-19 testing is readily available at many locations in Ottawa County and OCDPH is encouraging residents to get tested for COVID-19 if they have been exposed or are experiencing symptoms.

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    October 8, 2021

    Ottawa County Department of Public Health Encourages Flu Vaccination

    As the 2021-2022 influenza (flu) season gets underway in West Michigan, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is encouraging flu vaccinations for everyone six months of age or older, by the end of November, to reduce the risk of illness and its potentially serious complications. The flu can cause mild to severe illness, and in some cases, lead to death. OCDPH expects to see an increase in the number of flu cases this year compared to 2020, due to relaxed COVID-19 prevention strategies.

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    October 8, 2021

    Diversity forum to highlight safe and healthy communities

    October 20th marks the 6th Annual Diversity Forum, led by the Ottawa County Cultural Intelligence Committee, in partnership with the City of Holland the Ottawa County Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office. The registration for the 2021 Diversity Forum is now open. The forum is from 8:15AM to 4PM and the platform is virtual. The fee is $25 and deadline to register is October 15.

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    October 8, 2021

    Ottawa County Department of Public Health Issues Public Health Reconciliation Order Clarifying Certain Provisions in August 6 and August 20 Orders

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

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    October 8, 2021

    Ottawa County court leader announces retirement

    Court Administrator, Kevin J. Bowling, JD, MSJA, CCE, today announced his retirement effective January 14, 2022. Mr. Bowling is completing a 44-year career as an attorney, court administrator, court consultant, and judicial branch educator. Bowling has served West Michigan as the Court Administrator of the 20th Circuit and the Ottawa County Probate Courts for the past 18 years.

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    October 7, 2021

    5th Ottawa County farm protected; farm planning and networking event set for November

    The DeHaan family knows to make hay while the sun's shining. With help from a Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) grant, their 37-acre Blendon Township farm has joined the list of preserved Ottawa County farms.

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    October 7, 2021

    Ottawa County, Michigan Community Mental Health Press Releases Participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

    The United States is currently experiencing an epidemic of prescription drug misuse and abuse. Opioid overdose deaths in Michigan have almost tripled in five years. To help turn the tide on this epidemic, Community Mental Health of Ottawa County and Spectrum Health are partnering with Michigan OPEN and the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department to host a medication take-back event on Saturday, October 23rd from 10 am - 2 pm.

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    October 1, 2021

    Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update

    Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) understands that we are all exhausted from the pandemic. It has been a long, tiring year of new policies, prevention measures, public health orders, etc. COVID-19 has been impacting our lives in several ways and we all want to return back to our "normal" way of life before the COVID-19 pandemic. People are tired, scared and angry. In order to reduce the negative effects of the pandemic, we need to reduce the number of COVID-19 infections and the rate of transmission to protect the health of our community. While there is no predicted end date to the pandemic, we are capable of controlling diseases as we have in the past.

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    October 1, 2021

    Update for community and schools regarding COVID testing, contact tracing and follow up

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is once again alerting members of the community that the large volume of positive COVID-19 tests in recent weeks has surpassed the capacity of the OCDPH to conduct timely contact tracing and investigation of individual cases. There have also been delays in scheduling appointments for tests, thus delaying the reporting of results to individuals and to the health department.

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    September 30, 2021

    Ottawa County upholds public health 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.

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    September 29, 2021

    Space for cyclists and motorists: Lakeshore Drive Paved Shoulders Project complete

    A cool lake breeze, sunshine filtered through hemlocks and pine forests, and the soft hum of a bicycle chain in motion - Lakeshore Drive offers one of the finest cycling environments in west Michigan. Now, with the completion of four-foot paved shoulders along the entirety of Lakeshore Drive between Holland State Park and Robbins Road near Grand Haven, road cyclists and vehicles have ample room to travel the western shoreline of the county.

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    September 27, 2021

    Ottawa County Preliminary Unemployment Rate for August 2021

    The preliminary unemployment rates for August 2021 were released recently by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. Since July, Ottawa County's unemployment rate has decreased from 4.1% to 3.4%. This is currently the fifth-lowest unemployment rate in Michigan, with rates ranging from 2.4% in Livingston County to 8.2% in Genesee County.

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    September 20, 2021

    Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update

    Ottawa County Department of Public Health’s (OCDPH) goal is to return as many students as possible to in-person learning for the full school year while prioritizing the health and safety needs of the school population and greater community. Children under the age of 12 are ineligible for COVID-19 vaccine which provides a high level of protection and may reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to others. Those in kindergarten and older are also mandated by law to receive an education, typically indoors at a school with many other children for hours each day. Until these children can get a vaccine, the most effective way to prevent spread during the school day is to have layered prevention strategies, including the universal use of face masks among staff and students along with other important prevention strategies such a distancing, increased ventilation, disinfection/hygiene and available COVID-19 testing.

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    September 14, 2021

    Have an appetite for farmland preservation?

    Farms are the Tapas chefs competition and local farms showcase raises funds for Ottawa County Farmland Preservation Program

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    September 10, 2021

    Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update

    On August 23, 2021, the FDA approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and will now be marketed as Comirnaty used for COVID-19 prevention for individuals aged 16 years or older. This vaccine will remain available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

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    September 3, 2021

    Special Event: Public Observatory Groundbreaking Ceremony

    Construction will begin this fall on West Michigan’s first public observatory, which will be located at Hemlock Crossing County Park. The facility will be operated in partnership with the Shoreline Amateur Astronomical Association.

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    September 1, 2021

    Shelter in Place Lifted Surrounding Vertellus Chemical

    Following an air release of a powdered plastic from Vertellus Chemical in Zeeland (215 North Centennial Street), the ‘shelter in place’ recommendation for area residents has been lifted. Out of an abundance of caution, individuals within the impacted area were notified and have been sheltering in place. Clean-up continues at the Vertellus Chemical plant and parking lot. Adjacent streets will also remained closed until the cleaning is complete. Clean-up crews are expected to continue working throughout the evening.

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    August 31, 2021

    Vertellus Chemical Clean-Up Underway

    This morning Ottawa County Emergency Management responded to an air release of a powdered plastic from Vertellus Chemical in Zeeland (215 North Centennial Street). Out of an abundance of caution, individuals within the impacted area were notified and have been sheltering in place. Clean-up is underway and crews are expected to continue working throughout the evening. As portions of the impacted areas are cleaned, representatives from Zeeland Fire and Ottawa County Hazmat will notify residents when their ‘shelter in place’ has been lifted.

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    August 31, 2021

    Vertellus Chemical Update

    Earlier today, Ottawa County Emergency Management responded to an air release of a dry powder from Vertellus Chemical in Zeeland (215 North Centennial Street). The powder has been identified as plastic. Out of an abundance of caution, individuals within the impacted area have been notified and have been asked to shelter in place. Ottawa County will provide further updates as progress of the clean-up crew continues.

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    August 30, 2021

    Ottawa County Preliminary Unemployment Rate for July 2021

    The preliminary unemployment rates for July 2021 were released recently by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. Since June, Ottawa County's unemployment rate decreased from at 4.3% to 4.1%. This is currently the seventh-lowest unemployment rate in Michigan, with rates ranging from 8.9% in Montmorency County to 2.7% in Livingston County.

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    August 27, 2021

    Introducing the Department of Strategic Impact

    As the needs of our citizens evolve, so too must Ottawa County government. Since the Planning & Performance Improvement Department began life as the Planning & Grants Department, it has expanded its scope to include a host of long-term strategies that reach far beyond what its name implies. With a growing array of interconnected services and strategies being spearheaded, implemented, and managed within this department, it has become clear it was time for a new name: The Department of Strategic Impact.

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    August 27, 2021

    Grand River Greenway Campaign Reaches Goal

    The Grand River Greenway Campaign was a fundraising effort launched in 2017 with a goal of financing key land acquisitions along the 36.5-mile Idema Explorers Trail. The Campaign recently achieved its fund-raising goal of $7.2 million, which is critical in leveraging public funding as part of the $21 million Grand River Greenway project. The Grand River Greenway project will ultimately establish a public land corridor connecting Grand Haven to the border with Kent County.

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    August 25, 2021

    Statement of Roger Bergman, August 25

    I was impressed with the number of citizens who showed up yesterday to express themselves, but very disappointed by the organized effort to bully and intimidate anyone who dared to speak in favor of a mask mandate in schools. County-wide epidemic orders are extremely rare and typically generate intense controversy, which is why our state legislature has insured that those decisions are made by the county health officers exclusively.

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    August 23, 2021

    Food Safety Certified Manager Class

    Interested in a Food Safety Certified Manager Class? You are in luck. We are offering our next Certified Manager Class and exam on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021 from 8am - 5pm at 12220 Fillmore St., West Olive, MI 49460.

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    August 23, 2021

    Back for 2021: The 231 River Run-Walk

    If you haven't already, register now for the 2021 231 River Run on October 30. The 10K run and 4 mile run/walk make the event attainable for every fitness level. Space is limited. Be sure to register before we sell out.

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    August 20, 2021

    Ottawa County and Kent County Public Health Issue Masks Orders in Pre-K-6 Educational Settings

    The Kent and Ottawa administrative health officers issued public health orders today for their respective jurisdictions requiring masks be worn in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade educational settings. These Orders were issued to protect vulnerable individuals and those who are not yet vaccinated, to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in schools and the community, and to minimize interruptions to in-person learning.

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    August 18, 2021

    Virtual Community Educational Webinar

    The webinar provides information about children and COVID-19 from our community experts. To attend the virtual webinar, click this zoom link. It is free and open to the public.

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    August 13, 2021

    Ottawa County risk level now 'high'

    Ottawa County data indicates that the community is now defined by CDC as having ‘high’ transmission. The key takeaway here: Ottawa County moved from ‘substantial’ to ‘high’ transmission in just a matter of days; we should not let our guard down. Masking, vaccinating, handwashing, and social distancing remain important and recommended.

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    August 13, 2021

    2020 Census Data Release

    This post contains a summary of the most vital population data for counties and local units in the recent release.

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    August 12, 2021

    Art Pop-Up to benefit the Ottawa County Parks Foundation

    The outdoor event will be held at Grand Ravines North, Ottawa County Park, on August 15, 1-4 pm (rain date is August 22).
    Art for the Parks features work by 30+ area artists in a wide range of media—painting, photography, jewelry, blown glass, sculpture, ceramics, and much more. Much of the work is inspired by nature and natural spaces, including works of local parks’ landscapes.

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    August 11, 2021

    Power outage closes Ottawa's Fillmore Complex

    The Ottawa County Fillmore Complex in West Olive is currently without power, impacting its ability to serve customers. This includes the Sheriff headquarters, Clerk, and Treasurer offices as well as today's inmate visits at the jail and hearings in the West Olive court. Other locations such as Holland, Grand Haven and Hudsonville are operating and providing services and hearings.

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    August 9, 2021

    Ottawa County risk level now 'substantial'

    Updated numbers over the weekend have inched Ottawa County into the 'substantial' risk level as defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC recommends that everyone in communities where the risk level is 'substantial' or 'high' wear a face mask in indoor public places, regardless of vaccination status.

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    August 6, 2021

    Ottawa & Kent Counties release return to school guidance

    The Administrative Health Officers of two local county health departments have partnered to issue ‘Public Health Orders’ addressing COVID-19 prevention in educational settings. The orders, which are identical for both counties but issued separately by jurisdiction, detail the requirements for isolation, quarantine and reporting for all educational institutions in Kent and Ottawa Counties. The order is effective August 6 expiring when rescinded by the respective health department.

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    August 3, 2021

    Ottawa County administrator's exit is 'bittersweet'

    On August 27, 2021, Al Vanderberg will serve his final day as Ottawa County Administrator. Vanderberg began his tenure in 2003 and is the longest serving Administrator in Ottawa County history.

    “This decision was bittersweet,” said Vanderberg. “My family and I love Ottawa County. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as County Administrator. Ottawa County is in a very strong and stable condition. I felt I could leave and accept one more major challenge in my career.”

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    August 3, 2021

    CORRECTION - Ottawa County begins citizen survey TODAY August 3 at 5PM

    Starting this week, Ottawa County adults will have the opportunity to give input on their satisfaction with local government services, priorities, tax burden, communication preferences and more. Ottawa County will begin its citizen survey on August 3. The survey was initiated in 2006 to monitor citizen satisfaction. The survey, originally planned for 2020, was delayed for one year due to the pandemic.

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    August 2, 2021

    Lotteries for special hunting permits now open

    Hunting is an important part of managing natural lands and parks in Ottawa County. Biodiversity is dependent on a delicate balance of predator and prey populations. In Michigan, this balance has been altered by a significant loss of predators, like wolves. As a result, some prey populations, such as deer, do not have the natural checks and balances needed to prevent overpopulation. Humans have always been and continue to play an important role in hunting prey populations.

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    July 30, 2021

    August is Child Support Month in Michigan

    The Michigan Child Support Program strives to help families support each other both financially and emotionally. In recognition of tireless efforts of child support workers, employers, state and county departments, hospitals and community partners to support Michigan children and families, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared August 2021 as Child Support Month in Michigan. Staff, partners and families are encouraged to wear green on August 16 to recognize the impact of Michigan’s Child Support Program.

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    July 26, 2021

    Ottawa County Preliminary Unemployment Rate for June 2021

    The preliminary unemployment rates for June 2021 were released recently by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. Ottawa County's unemployment rate remained unchanged from May at 4.3%. This is currently the fifth-lowest unemployment rate in Michigan, with rates ranging from 8.7% in Roscommon and Montmorency Counties to 3.1% in Livingston County.

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    July 21, 2021

    Ottawa County website ranks 9th in the nation

    The Center for Digital Government (CDG) and the National Association of Counties (NACo) announced the winners of the 19th annual Digital Counties Survey. Ottawa County, Michigan's technology practices and website, miOttawa.org, were named 9th in the nation compared to counties with similarly sized populations (250,000 - 499,000). The award, given by CDG in partnership with NACo, identifies US counties with the best practices, including initiatives that streamline delivery of government services, encourage collaboration, and enhance cybersecurity.

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    July 19, 2021

    Virtual Webinar - Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)

    Are you a commercial or rental property owner or developer discouraged by the high upfront costs of energy-efficient improvements? Do you wish there was a low-cost way to finance these improvements? Join Lean & Green Michigan for a virtual webinar at 10 a.m. on Wednesday July 28 discussing Ottawa County's Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program.

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    July 15, 2021

    Spokes Fighting Strokes on the Grand River Greenway

    Join us for a dose of inspiration and a trike ride! Dan Zimmerman will share how he’s changing lives across the nation with recumbent trikes. Followed by our speakers, local stroke survivors can test out a trike. We’ll wrap up the day with a social ride along the Idema Explorers Trail. This event is free; light refreshments will be served.

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    July 8, 2021

    Community Mental Heath of Ottawa County Awarded Federal Funds in Support of Behavioral Health

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has awarded Community Mental Health of Ottawa County (CMH) a total of $3,805,542 over the next two years enabling CMH to become a Certified Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). CCHBHC's provide a robust set of coordinated, integrated and comprehensive services to all persons with any mental illness or substance use diagnosis.

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    July 7, 2021

    Ticks spread diseases - How to prevent tick bites

    In Michigan, there's a significant increase in the number of ticks this year. Several reports of Lyme disease have been detected. Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne disease. It is spread by an infected blacklegged (deer) tick. Most humans are infected through the bites of immature ticks called nymphs that feed during the spring and summer months. Nymphs can be difficult to see since they are approximately the size of a poppy seed. In most cases, the tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours or more before the Lyme disease bacterium can be transmitted. “Prompt removal of ticks is the best method to decrease the chance of Lyme disease,” said Dr. Paul Heidel, the medical director of the Ottawa County Department of Public Health. “Seek medical attention if you develop a fever, a rash, severe fatigue, facial paralysis, or joint pain within 30 days of being bitten by a tick.”

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    July 1, 2021

    Ottawa County's First PACE Supported Project is Shovel Ready

    WEST OLIVE - Ottawa County’s first-ever Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program-supported project closed on June 30, 2021 and is set to begin construction immediately. Petros PACE Finance helped the developers secure financing for $8.5 million in energy-efficient equipment and materials for the project, which are projected to result in approximately $17.1 million in net savings over 25 years.

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    June 30, 2021

    Ottawa County Preliminary Unemployment Rate for May 2021

    The preliminary unemployment rates for May 2021 were released recently by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. Ottawa County's unemployment rate increased slightly from April from 3.7% to 4.3%, which according to the Michigan Department of Technology & Budget, is due to the increase in number of people who have entered the labor force but have not found employment yet. CORRECTION: This is currently the fourth-lowest unemployment rate in Michigan, with rates ranging from 9.0% in Oscoda County to 2.9% in Livingston County.

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    June 26, 2021

    Highly contagious Delta variant detected in Ottawa County

    Yesterday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced that a case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.617.2, otherwise known as the Delta variant, was identified in an Ottawa County vaccinated adult in their fifties with recent travel within the United States. This is the first confirmed case of the Delta variant in the West Michigan region. One close contact, who also has a history of recent travel, has since been identified as a COVID-19 case and is presumed to had been infected with the Delta variant, though this has not been confirmed in the laboratory. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies the Delta variant as a "variant of concern," a label given to strains believed to be more transmissible or cause more serious disease.

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    June 25, 2021

    Ottawa County Free Hearing and Vision Screening Appointments Now Available

    Free hearing and vision screenings are now available at the Ottawa County Department of Public Health. Children entering Kindergarten in Fall 2021 are eligible for appointments and will be prioritized in accordance with school entry requirements.

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    June 24, 2021

    Gypsy moth outbreaks are on the rise

    Gypsy moths made their debut in Michigan in 1954 and got quite out of hand during the 1980s and 1990s before an effective biological control was deployed. But in the last couple of years, significant outbreaks have been observed once again, here in Ottawa County and across the State. But if you are blissfully unaware of what ‘frass’ is, then you probably don’t have these unwelcome guests camping out in your trees! During June and July, gypsy moth caterpillars are in a feeding frenzy before they spin their cocoons. And if they are munching all the leaves off of the oak, aspen, and other trees in your yard, well, we know what comes next – poop, or frass, as the scientists call it. And a lot of it.

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    June 22, 2021

    No-cost HIV testing - Walk-in 8 a.m.-4 p.m. this Friday in Holland

    In recognition of National HIV Testing Day (NHTD), the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) will be offering no-cost and confidential HIV testing this Friday in Holland. This year, the NHTD theme is “My Test, My Way,” emphasizing there are different ways and places to get tested. HIV testing is easy, fast, confidential and safe.

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    June 21, 2021

    Local Artists Awarded at 2021 Art Trust Exhibition

    Ottawa County and the Holland Area Arts Council have announced which works have been purchased to become part of the permanent collection of the Ottawa County Art Trust. Nine pieces were chosen for purchase awards from a total of 51 entries by 28 artists who live or work in Ottawa County. All of the entries will be on display in the Ottawa County Administration Building in West Olive through August 20 during business hours.

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    June 11, 2021

    Ottawa County reports increase in bats testing positive for rabies

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) has received notification from the Michigan Bureau of Laboratories (BOL) that three 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.

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    June 9, 2021

    PACE program will help Ottawa County businesses go green

    Whether it's food, time, or energy, waste is generally a bad thing. For businesses, it can be costly; according to some estimates, on average about 30% of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted.

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    June 3, 2021

    Introducing MiFarmLink.org

    It may not be obvious as you drive through Ottawa County, but this area's farming industry faces unique challenges, including farmland loss and a lack of new farmers entering the industry.
    That's why last fall Ottawa County was awarded $44,885 from the United States Department of Agriculture's Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. Ottawa County staff and community partners immediately got to work developing the MiFarmLink Project, a new public-private initiative to help West Michigan's farms and farmers continue to thrive.

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    June 2, 2021

    Grand River Greenway Event

    Ottawa County Parks is pleased to invite the community to an upcoming Grand River Greenway event recognizing the opening of the expanded Bend Area Open Space and a recently completed two-mile section of the Idema Explorers Trail in Georgetown Township. The dedication event is scheduled for Friday, June 11 from 2-4 pm.

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    June 1, 2021

    Ottawa County Preliminary Unemployment Rate for April 2021

    The preliminary unemployment rates for April 2021 were released recently by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. In one year, Ottawa County’s unemployment rate has decreased from a high of 20.4% in April 2020 to 3.7% in April 2021. This is currently the sixth-lowest unemployment rate in Michigan, with rates ranging from 14.1% in Mackinac County to 2.4% in Livingston County.

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    May 28, 2021

    Mental health awareness during the COVID-19 pandemic

    May is Mental Health Awareness Month -- Even with May coming to a close, it is still important to focus on mental health. The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is promoting the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) movement to raise awareness about mental health. Millions of people in the United States are affected by mental illness. About 1 in 5 adults experience mental illnesses and 1 in 6 adolescents between the ages of 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year. Mental health is a continuing struggle for many Americans. It's important to address mental illnesses, eliminate the stigmas and connect people to resources for a happy, healthy community.

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    May 28, 2021

    2020 Local Unit Population Estimates

    The 2020 City and Town population estimates were released by the Census Bureau on May 27. Some of the highlights are provided below. Please note that this data is not a 2020 Census release, but part of the Census Population and Housing Unit Estimates program. 2020 Census local unit population data will be released later this year.

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    May 28, 2021

    Celebrate National Trails Day on June 5

    Millions of people have found physical, mental, and emotional restoration on trails and in quality green space during the pandemic. Let’s return the favor as a community! Help care for our magnificent trails and advocate for equitable inclusion outdoors.

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    May 26, 2021

    Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update

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

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    May 17, 2021

    Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update

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

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    May 13, 2021

    Ottawa County Parks & Recreation is hiring!

    Ottawa County Parks & Recreation is searching for candidates interested in working outside this summer! These opportunities are perfect for students (18+) who are home on break, retirees who want to spend more time outside, or anyone interested in parks who would like to earn extra money during the summer months.

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    May 11, 2021

    Save the Date: Farms are the Tapas

    An event to support farmland preservation - Thursday, September 30, 2021

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    May 11, 2021

    Ottawa County Leaders Honor Deputies and Corrections Officers

    In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as "National Peace Officers Memorial Day" and the calendar week in which May 15 falls, as "National Police Week." In 1984, President Reagan proclaimed the week beginning May 6, 1984, as “National Correctional Officers Week.”

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    May 7, 2021

    Joint Press Release Regarding School COVID-19 Quarantine

    The Public Health Departments of Ottawa County, Muskegon County, Ionia County and Kent County (“Local Health Departments”) jointly announce that, as of May 5, 2021, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (“MDDHS”) has advised them that enforcement of MDHHS’ school quarantine guidelines must be now by local health department order.

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    May 6, 2021

    Ottawa County is the Fastest Growing County in the State

    The 2020 County population estimates were released by the Census Bureau on May 4. Some of the Ottawa County highlights are provided below. Please note that this data is not a 2020 Census release, but part of the Census Population and Housing Unit Estimates program. 2020 Census county population data will be released later this year.

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    May 2, 2021

    Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update

    Watch the latest COVID-19 video update on YouTube and Facebook - followed by an interview with community mental health professionals who talk about how to build resiliency in kids during this difficult time amid a pandemic. Hear how to help kids navigate the challenges when confronted with isolation, quarantine or not being able to play sports and take part in other youth activities. The discussion starts here with links to resources in the video description.

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    April 30, 2021

    Tulip Time Festival in Holland will have no-cost COVID-19 testing and vaccination available starting tomorrow

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), in partnership with the City of Holland and Tulip Time Festival, are offering no-cost COVID-19 testing and vaccination opportunities. Through the HHS Community-based COVID-19 Testing program, rapid testing will be offered at an outdoor walk-up site. The OCDPH will also provide COVID-19 vaccination opportunities to community members and visitors. More information about the events and requirements is listed below.

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    April 30, 2021

    Latest Ottawa County data support change in reducing quarantine time from 14 days to 10 days

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) continually monitors and analyzes county and state COVID-19 data to drive decision-making and develop guidelines to best keep the community safe from COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and death. Lately, case rates and test positivity have been declining in Ottawa County. Case rates have established two weeks of a significant downtrend, strongly suggesting community transmission is decreasing. However, to keep going in a positive direction, people need to remain diligent with preventing the spread of the virus by getting vaccinated, wearing a face covering, keeping distance from others and frequently washing hands and disinfecting surfaces.

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    April 29, 2021

    Ottawa Conservation District receives federal funding

    In a win for West Michigan, the Ottawa Conservation District (OCD) has been awarded project funding through the Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) for their Farmland and Water Quality Conservation Initiative.

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    April 28, 2021

    Fourth Annual Ottawa County Art Trust Exhibition

    Ottawa County and the Holland Area Arts Council invite local artists to enter their Ottawa County themed works in a juried exhibition located in the County’s Administration Building. This is the fourth annual exhibition to build the Ottawa County Art Trust. The Ottawa County Art Trust will build a permanent library of artwork created by resident artists.

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    April 27, 2021

    Ottawa County selects vendor to launch Phase I of Countywide Broadband Internet initiative

    It’s not surprising that high-speed internet has become a necessity. But in Ottawa County, broadband service remains inconsistent. Members of the public regularly report difficulties with connectivity, reliability, and affordability.

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    April 27, 2021

    2020 Census Population Counts for Apportionment Data Release

    On April 26, 2021 the US Census Bureau released the 2020 Census Apportionment Results which include new figures for state resident population counts, apportionment population counts, and overseas population counts. This post contains a summary of the population count updates and apportionment updates. Apportionment population results are used to calculate the number of seats in the US House of Representatives to which each state is entitled.

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    April 25, 2021

    Ottawa County Preliminary Unemployment Rate for March 2021

    The preliminary unemployment rates for March 2021 were released recently by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. Ottawa County’s unemployment rate has decreased from a high of 20.4% in April 2020 to 4.3% in March 2021. This is currently the third-lowest unemployment rate in Michigan, with rates ranging from 16.2% in Mackinac County to 3.2% in Livingston County.

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    April 25, 2021

    Weekly COVID-19 Update

    Watch the latest COVID-19 video update on YouTube and Facebook. Hear the latest vaccination news from the Ottawa County Department of Public Health. Includes an interview with Upward Bound students from Holland High School who are a part of a new documentary produced by Cynthia Martinez. Cynthia has been recording the journey of several high school students who've been navigating the challenges of the pandemic and getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

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    April 25, 2021

    Self-scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments available - Walk-ins welcomed while supplies last

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) with partnering agencies have appointments and walk-in opportunities available. Walk-ins are limited to the number of vaccines on hand. To ensure vaccine availability, people may schedule an appointment. Vaccination is for anyone aged 16 years or older to receive their first-dose COVID-19 vaccine. Only the Pfizer vaccine will be offered to individuals aged 16 or 17 years, and a parent or guardian must accompany the minor. Date of birth proof is required (driver’s license, state ID or birth certificate).

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    April 20, 2021

    Remove the Risk from your Home - Participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

    The United States is currently experiencing an epidemic of prescription drug misuse and abuse. Opioid overdose deaths in Michigan have almost tripled in five years. To help turn the tide on this epidemic, Community Mental Health of Ottawa County and Spectrum Health are partnering with Michigan OPEN and the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department to host a medication take-back event on Saturday, April 24th from 10am-2pm.

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    April 19, 2021

    Walk-in available tomorrow and Wednesday for COVID-19 vaccination

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) has walk-in opportunity tomorrow, April 20 and Wednesday, April 21--limited to the amount of vaccine on hand. Vaccination is for anyone aged 16 years or older to receive their first-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Parental consent is needed and date of birth proof is required (driver’s license, state ID or birth certificate). | Spanish

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    April 18, 2021

    Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update

    Watch the latest COVID-19 video update on YouTube and Facebook. Followed by an interview with public health nurses Tamara Drake, Julie Kuiper and Stephanie Goris who share how the communicable disease team has responded to the pandemic and has been working with our community, long-term care facilities and seasonal workers.

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    April 14, 2021

    It's time to Step it Up!

    Parks & Public Health team up to offer Step it Up! Walking Program free in Ottawa & Allegan counties
    Registration is now open for Step it Up!, a free, 8-week program created in partnership by Ottawa County's Parks & Recreation and the Department of Public Health. Step it Up! was designed to help participants get active and visit new parks. All levels of fitness are welcome!

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    April 13, 2021

    Ottawa County health officials pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine out of an abundance of caution

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is pausing all use of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA and CDC have recommended this pause, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed it. The health department is stopping all use of the J&J vaccine until more is known. Individuals with appointments for the J&J vaccine are being contacted. There is no impact on the use of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

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    April 13, 2021

    Getting Tech Friendly: Ottawa County Friend of the Court Offers Online Parenting Time Complaint Resolution

    The Ottawa County Friend of the Court has expanded its ground-breaking online dispute resolution platform to include parenting time complaints. Parents may now initiate and resolve parenting time complaints online from a smartphone, computer or tablet. The 20th Circuit Court in Ottawa County is the only court in the state of Michigan and in the nation to offer this option.

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    April 9, 2021

    New COVID-19 testing site opening this Saturday in Holland, and updated quarantine guidelines to 14 days

    Ottawa County, along with the rest of the state, is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. Testing for COVID-19 is more important than ever to understand the scope of the virus's spread and making data-informed decisions on how to best protect our community. Spring break traveling, more contagious variants circulating and some individuals relaxing disease prevention mitigations, are more reasons to encourage people to get tested for COVID-19. If you have COVID-like symptoms and/or have been in close contact with someone infected, please get tested and self-quarantine. Contact your primary care provider for any medical needs.

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    April 6, 2021

    Ottawa County Preliminary Unemployment Rate for February 2021

    The preliminary unemployment rates for February 2021 were released recently by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. Ottawa County’s unemployment rate has decreased from a high of 20.4% in April 2020 to 4.2% in February 2021. This is currently the fifth-lowest unemployment rate in Michigan, with rates ranging from 17.5% in Mackinac County to 3.1% in Livingston County.

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    April 5, 2021

    Ottawa County Clerk's Office releases audit report

    The Ottawa County Clerk’s Office is releasing a report of their audit of the November 2020 General Election. In addition to reporting the outcome of the procedural audit, this report, Verifying the Vote, also breaks down the post-election audit process and highlights areas for improvement.

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    April 4, 2021

    Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Vaccine Update

    During the pandemic, community members and agencies across the county have worked together diligently to help people overcome the challenges many faced, provide resources and help share public health messages. An important part of this work now is aiding in the county's vaccination efforts. Dozens of agencies meet weekly to strategize the best outreach efforts to ensure vaccines are accessible to everyone when they are eligible.

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    March 29, 2021

    Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Vaccine Update

    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.

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    March 29, 2021

    Coming soon: Tree House at Grand Ravines

    This summer, the Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission plans to commence work to add another jewel to the crown of one its most scenic and beloved parks – Grand Ravines in Georgetown Township, just south of the Grand Valley State University Allendale Campus.

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    March 26, 2021

    FEMA to Help Pay Funeral Costs for COVID-19-related Deaths

    In early April, FEMA will begin providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020, for deaths related to coronavirus (COVID-19) to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic. The policy was finalized, and FEMA is now moving rapidly to implement this funeral assistance program nationwide.

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    March 25, 2021

    Ottawa County adopts 'Focus on Agriculture' plan

    With nearly 9,500 employed in ag-related businesses and $506 million worth of products sold annually (2017 Ag Census), Ottawa County's agricultural sector is strong. During National Agriculture Week, we recognize the great economic, cultural, and nutritional impacts farming has on Ottawa County. We also recognize our farmers face challenges.

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    March 24, 2021

    Ottawa County health officials to provide an update on Ottawa County's vaccination strategies and progress

    Join Live on Facebook and YouTube

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    March 23, 2021

    New Groundwater Board to address aquifer challenges in Ottawa County

    Momentum is crucial to any project. When a 2018 study by Michigan State University revealed declines in the quality and quantity of Ottawa County’s deep bedrock aquifers, County officials took immediate action by developing the Groundwater Sustainability Initiative. Now, at its meeting on March 23, 2021, the County Board of Commissioners is building on that early momentum by establishing the Ottawa County Groundwater Board. The new, 15-member advisory body will provide policy recommendations and help develop regulatory standards to protect and conserve this vital resource.

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    March 22, 2021

    Two more cases of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7. identified in Ottawa County

    The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) notified the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) that the MDHHS Bureau of Laboratories identified the COVID-19 variant known as SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 in two additional Ottawa County residents. One of the confirmed cases is younger than 20 years of age and the other in their 20s - both had no known travel history.

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    March 22, 2021

    Ottawa County Preliminary Unemployment Rate for January 2021

    The preliminary unemployment rates for January 2021 were released recently by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. Ottawa County’s unemployment rate has decreased from a high of 20.4% in April 2020 to 4.8% in January 2021. This is currently the third-lowest unemployment rate in Michigan, with rates ranging from 19.5% in Mackinac County to 3.8% in Livingston County.

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    March 21, 2021

    Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Vaccine Update

    The last vaccine video update at Facebook and YouTube. (Please excuse the audio/visual technical issues.) Following the briefing is an interview with Shannon Felgner, Ottawa County communications manager, who shares more about the importance of government communications during the COVID-19 pandemic and other opportunities to connect with our community. The interview starts here.

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    March 19, 2021

    Ottawa County health officials continue to urge COVID-19 prevention as case counts and positivity rate are increasing

    Health officials with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) are seeing an increase in case counts and test positivity within Ottawa County. The uptick is also being seen regionally and at the state and national levels. Through March, the average number of new Ottawa County cases reported each day has increased from a low of about 33 to well over 55, including the 94 cases reported on March 16. The county’s positivity rate has increased from 2.9 to 5.9 percent over the last two weeks. Case rates among those aged 10-19 years are the third highest in Ottawa County and may be trending up.

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    March 18, 2021

    Macatawa Greenway Expansion

    Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission purchases key property in Macatawa Greenway.
    This property makes future Macatawa Greenway Trail connectivity possible for a 4-mile stretch of the River across 824 acres of land east of I-196.

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    March 16, 2021

    OPEN TODAY: Ottawa County COVID-19 testing site in Coopersville

    Free community testing site open in Coopersville
    Tuesday, March 16 & 30 from 2 pm - 7 pm

    Coopersville United Methodist Church
    105 68th Ave N, Coopersville MI 49404

    Testing results typically within 2 to 4 days.
    Click for post-test Instructions

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    March 13, 2021

    Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Vaccine Update

    This week's vaccine video update on Facebook and YouTube. Includes an interview with special guests who shared what it takes to be an epidemiologist and their important work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The interview starts here.

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    March 9, 2021

    Ottawa Administrator Delivers State of the County Address

    Ottawa County is where you belong -- and the theme is underscored in the 2020 State of the County Address.
    Ottawa County leads the state in population growth, boasts low unemployment rates despite COVID-19, flourishes with recreational opportunities and prides itself on building partnerships to enhance services and save tax dollars.
    Ottawa County Administrator Al Vanderberg shared these and other Ottawa County highlights from 2020 during this afternoon's State of the County Address.

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    March 6, 2021

    Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Vaccine Update

    This week's vaccine video update on Facebook and YouTube. Includes an interview with special guests who shared how the pandemic has increased the challenges for families and children with special needs. We also discussed the importance of protecting vulnerable kids by getting vaccinated when you're eligible, wearing masks and maintaining all other disease prevention measures. The interview starts here.

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    March 5, 2021

    Ottawa County Elections Receives National Award

    The Elections Division of the Ottawa County Clerk/Register’s Office has received national recognition for their “#OttawaVotes” voter information campaign during the 2020 election cycle. The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) announced the recipients of the 2020 Clearinghouse Awards, also known as the “Clearie” Awards, for best practices in election administration. Established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), the EAC is charged with certifying voting technology and serving as a clearinghouse for election administration information. To further this mission, the EAC launched the Clearies in 2016 to promote best practices in elections and celebrate the accomplishments of election officials.

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    March 2, 2021

    Ottawa County COVID-19 testing site updates: New site in Coopersville

    Free community testing site now open in Coopersville
    Tuesdays, March 2, 9, 16 & 30 from 2 pm - 7 pm

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    March 1, 2021

    Results of the Ottawa County Community Health Needs Assessment to be released

    Community members and stakeholders have joined forces once again to identify the current health needs in Ottawa County. This year-long study, known as the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), systematically examines the health status indicators for Ottawa County. The information was gathered through interviews of more than 1,500 people (individuals, health care professionals and community leaders) to provide a comprehensive picture of the Ottawa County community’s health and well-being. This endeavor is an opportunity for community partners to work together, dig deeper, ensure sustainability, monitor change over time, target limited resources and listen to the community.

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    February 26, 2021

    Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Vaccine Update

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) sent this weekly vaccine update to those who signed up for vaccine notifications or COVID-19 updates. If you already received your vaccine and do not want to be on the notification list, please unsubscribe here. If you no longer want to receive COVID-19 updates, please unsubscribe at the bottom of this email.

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    February 23, 2021

    Centennial Farm in Blendon Twp permanently protected

    WEST OLIVE — Passed down from one generation to the next, family heirlooms are a legacy. For some, an heirloom is a bracelet or pocket watch. For others, it’s a classic car. For Carson DeHaan, it’s the family farm. “My grandson works with me on the farm,” said DeHaan. “I want to pass down these acres to him and my son when I retire.” Now, with the help of a grant from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), DeHaan can rest assured his land will stay a family farm.

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    February 15, 2021

    Ottawa County's unemployment rate increasing slightly

    The preliminary unemployment rates for December 2020 were released recently by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. Ottawa County’s unemployment rate has decreased from a high of 20.9% in April to 3.7% in December. However, since November, the unemployment rate has increased statewide and in Ottawa County by 0.5 percentage points. This is currently the third-lowest unemployment rate in Michigan, with rates ranging from 12.6% in Mackinac County to 3.6% in Washtenaw County.

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    February 12, 2021

    Weekly Ottawa County Vaccine Update

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) sent this weekly vaccine update to those who signed up for vaccine notifications or COVID-19 updates. If you already received your vaccine and do not want to be on the notification list, please unsubscribe here. If you no longer want to receive COVID-19 updates, please unsubscribe at the bottom of this email.

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    February 5, 2021

    Weekly Ottawa County Vaccine Update

    This week's video update on Facebook and YouTube Includes a brief vaccine update and an interview with special guests from the food safety team who shared how their program adapted to the pandemic and how they've worked with food establishments. The interview starts here

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    February 5, 2021

    Ottawa County COVID-19 morning vaccine appointments rescheduled

    Due to weather the morning appointments for today’s second dose COVID-19 clinic at the GVSU Holland Campus (8:30am – 12:30pm) are being rescheduled to Wednesday, February 10 (same time and location). At this time, the appointments scheduled from 1pm – 4pm are unchanged. If weather and road conditions continue to worsen, the afternoon appointments may also be rescheduled. More information to come if afternoon appointments change.

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    February 2, 2021

    Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission welcomes new member, Kate Harmon

    Kate Harmon has lived in Ottawa County for over fifteen years while working at Grand Valley State University. Currently serving as the Director of Recreation and Wellness, Harmon’s role includes program evaluation and assessment, budgeting and financial oversight, strategic planning and project management, and facility oversight and risk mitigation. She has over twelve years of experience overseeing recreation facilities and has also served on a Master Planning committee for the Allendale campus. Her work experience prior to GVSU included fitness and wellness promotion, personal training, group fitness instruction, and coaching soccer at youth and collegiate levels.

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    February 1, 2021

    In-person Dining Opens Today: Dining During COVID-19 Guidelines

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health is excited to partner with restaurants as they open for in-person dining beginning today. As your restaurant opens, please remember the following requirements from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Epidemic Order.
    Spanish

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    January 29, 2021

    Nature Center at Hemlock Crossing to open Friday

    The Ottawa County Nature Center located at Hemlock Crossing County Park will open for the first time since March this weekend for snowshoe rental. The Pigeon Creek Park Lodge will also be open for cross-country ski and snowshoe rental through the weekend.

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    January 27, 2021

    Ottawa County Vaccine Update

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) received 975 Pfizer vaccines for first doses and 975 Pfizer vaccines for second doses this week. People aged 75 and older were scheduled this week for one of the limited vaccine appointments available. A total of 6,683 vaccines have been administered by OCDPH from December 18, 2020 to January 22, 2021. This includes first and second doses to those who qualified.

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    January 27, 2021

    Join us live at 12 pm Today - January 27, 2021 from the COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Holland

    Please join us today at 12 pm for the Ottawa County COVID-19 vaccine update at the Holland Vaccine Clinic. The event will run live with the saved recordings at
    Facebook | Youtube | Twitter

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    January 25, 2021

    New Ottawa County COVID-19 data hub to be released Tuesday, January 26

    The Ottawa County COVID-19 data dashboard is getting a new look starting Tuesday, January 26, 2021 at 3:30 pm. The improved COVID-19 Hub contains the same data sets as the previous dashboard but has improved loading time and access to even more data sets. Data provide situational awareness of the COVID-19 pandemic locally and statewide and are used to inform policies and decision making.

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    January 22, 2021

    Ottawa County Vaccine Update

    COVID-19 vaccine supplies remain limited. If you are now eligible for vaccination, it does not mean vaccination is immediately available to you. The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) continues to diligently vaccinate people within Ottawa County through its active COVID-19 vaccination program. The department is following the guidelines for vaccine distribution issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). The state is currently in vaccination Phase 1B, which consists of some essential workers and everyone 65 years of age and older.

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    January 22, 2021

    Ottawa County Commissioners Urge Governor to Open Restaurants

    In a letter sent to Governor Gretchen Whitmer on January 21, the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners urged Michigan's leader to open restaurants to safe, indoor dining in advance of the planned February 1 reopening date. Roger Bergman, Chair of the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners, said in the letter, "Our restaurant industry is at the end of its rope." He also added that restaurants are "stretched to or beyond the breaking point" and "are bearing a disproportionate share of the community COVID-19 economic burden."

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    January 18, 2021

    Coopersville testing site open Tues, Jan 19 at 3 pm - 7:30 pm

    Ottawa County Road Commission – Coopersville
    475 N 68 Ave, Coopersville, MI 49404
    CLICK FOR ENTRANCE MAP

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    January 11, 2021

    Grand Haven testing site open today 3pm - 7:30pm

    Ottawa County Road Commission - Grand Haven
    14110 Lakeshore Dr, Grand Haven, MI 49417
    CLICK FOR ENTRANCE MAP

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    January 8, 2021

    Registration for Additional Select Phases of COVID-19 Vaccinations Opens Today

    Local health departments and health systems have received authorization from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to begin COVID19 vaccination of some people in priority phases beyond 1A starting Monday, January 11. West Michigan health departments and health systems will begin accepting registration for vaccinations today at 1 p.m. via www.vaccinatewestmi.com/register.
    Spanish

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    January 6, 2021

    Vaccine Notification - All of Phase 1A now scheduling COVID-19 vaccination. Some of Phase 1B opening on Monday, January 11

    West Michigan area health departments and hospitals strongly encourage everyone in Phase 1A (see full list below) to register for and get their COVID-19 vaccine immediately. Individuals in these categories can find more registration information at VaccinateWestMI.com/register.

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    January 4, 2021

    Court Urges Public to Prepare for Vaccination of Incapacitated Family Members

    COVID-19 vaccination is well underway in Ottawa County, with many first responders and health care workers already given their first dose. While it is unclear when other risk groups will be offered the vaccine, the Ottawa County Probate Court urges the public with family members in long-term care facilities to be prepared. Residents should ensure incapacitated relatives in nursing homes have the appropriate legal documentation in place now, in advance of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution. For example, if an incapacitated individual does not have a patient advocate or guardian to act on their behalf, a family member may want to the court to appoint a temporary guardian.

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    December 26, 2020

    Pigeon Creek Lodge open TODAY (12/26)

    Pigeon Creek Lodge is OPEN for cross-country ski and snowshoe rentals today (12/26)!

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    December 18, 2020

    Ottawa County Department of Public Health administers its first COVID-19 vaccination

    Vaccination for COVID-19 is the path forward to controlling the disease and protecting our community. The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) has received 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine that was the first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved by the FDA for emergency use on December 11, 2020. In partnership with Grand Valley State University (GVSU), the OCDPH will start administering the COVID-19 vaccine at the GVSU Holland Campus tomorrow. The first dose is to be received by an EMS worker. The OCDPH will primarily vaccinate EMS personnel and other individuals facilitating the vaccination and testing site locations. More than 200 doses are expected to be given on Friday, with hundreds to follow next week.

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    December 18, 2020

    Ottawa County takes action to address broadband access and affordability concerns

    As the way we use technology has evolved from opening files on floppy disk drives to cloud computing, so has the demand for internet connectivity. But here in Ottawa County, broadband service is inconsistent – many areas lack service, experience poor service, or the residents simply can’t afford high-speed internet; the outbreak of Covid-19 has only exasperated this issue. The way education, business, health care, and social interaction are being conducted during the pandemic has made it clear high-speed internet service is no longer a luxury. That’s why Ottawa County is acting today to improve access to broadband for all County residents by soliciting proposals to collect detailed broadband data at a granular level.

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    December 17, 2020

    Ottawa County Housing Commission, 58th District Court Urging Lawmakers to Extend Eviction Prevention Program

    Housing impacts nearly all aspects of a family’s wellbeing. Housing stability has direct correlations with job retention, physical and mental health, and even children’s academic success in schools. A stable roof over one’s head offers both assurance and peace of mind. Yet for many the COVID-19 pandemic has uprooted their lives, as layoffs and bills gone unpaid have forced them to leave their homes. These tragic circumstances have prompted the Ottawa County Housing Commission and the Ottawa County 58th District Court to advocate for extending rental assistance to the region’s most vulnerable residents.

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    December 17, 2020

    Ottawa County to administer its first COVID-19 vaccine to an EMS worker tomorrow at the GVSU Holland campus

    Vaccination for COVID-19 is the path forward to controlling the disease and protecting our community. The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) has received 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine that was the first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved by the FDA for emergency use on December 11, 2020. In partnership with Grand Valley State University (GVSU), the OCDPH will start administering the COVID-19 vaccine at the GVSU Holland Campus tomorrow. The first dose is to be received by an EMS worker. The OCDPH will primarily vaccinate EMS personnel and other individuals facilitating the vaccination and testing site locations. More than 200 doses are expected to be given on Friday, with hundreds to follow next week.

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    December 8, 2020

    Ottawa County's unemployment rate declining

    The preliminary unemployment rates for October 2020 were released recently by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. The data show progress toward a return to normalcy with significant decreases in unemployment rates across the state. Ottawa County’s unemployment rate has decreased from a record high of 20.9% in April to 3.1% in October. This is currently the second-lowest unemployment rate in Michigan, with rates ranging from 8.2% in Wayne County to 3.0% in Mackinac County.

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    December 7, 2020

    No-cost flu vaccines offered at drive-thru clinic this Friday to anyone, regardless of insurance status

    On Friday, December 11, 2020, at 10 am - 4 pm the Ottawa County Department of Public Health is offering a no-cost flu vaccine to anyone 6 months of age and older, whether they have Medicaid, no insurance or regular health insurance. This drive-thru flu clinic will be held at the Community Mental Health of Ottawa County parking lot located at 12265 James St, Holland, MI 49424.

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    December 7, 2020

    Virtual Investiture Ceremony for Juanita Bocanegra

    With nearly 54% of the vote in November, Ottawa County residents elected the County's first Latina Judge, Juanita Bocanegra, to the 58th District Court bench. On December 18 at 2:30pm the Court will host a Virtual Investiture Ceremony for Bocanegra. The ceremony will be live streamed.

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    December 4, 2020

    OCDPH updates guidance on COVID-19 quarantine period based on new CDC findings

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) has been coordinating with regional partners and consulting with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) regarding the updated CDC quarantine guidelines that give the option to reduce quarantine time from 14 days to 7-10 days.

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    December 4, 2020

    Pigeon Creek Park - Extended hours year-round!

    New hours: Pigeon Creek Park is now open from 7 am-10 pm year-round. After daylight savings time each year, the LED trail lights will turn on at dusk and remain on until the park closes

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    December 1, 2020

    Ottawa County Department of Public Health releases the following statement regarding some of the inaccurate statements attributed to Libertas School’s Attorney from the Thomas More Society and its Headmaster

    First:
    “Libertas School has been treated in a manner consistent with all other schools and employers throughout Ottawa County,” said OCDPH Health Officer Lisa Stefanovsky. “When our department receives complaints of violations to public health laws, we follow up with clear guidance on the requirements and assist schools in ensuring their actions are compliant and consistent with all health protection measures. Libertas School has been the only Ottawa County school that has not corrected non-compliance after receiving communication from our department.”

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    December 1, 2020

    Coopersville testing site open today 3 pm - 7:30 pm

    Ottawa County Road Commission - Coopersville
    475 N 68 Ave, Coopersville, MI 49404
    CLICK FOR ENTRANCE MAP
    Please wear a face covering/mask. Testing results typically within 3 to 6 days. Click for post-test Instructions **Offering no-cost flu vaccine for uninsured adults (19 years of age and older) at event.**

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    November 30, 2020

    168 More Acres of Farmland Preserved in Ottawa County - Chester Township crop farm added to preserved properties

    Jim Klein has agriculture in his blood. His forbearers began working the productive soils of northeast Ottawa County in the 1860s. But legacy alone won’t guarantee his Chester Township crop farm endures. That’s why, with help from the Ottawa County Farmland Preservation Program and a Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) grant, he’s preserved 168 acres.

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    November 23, 2020

    NxGen in Holland and Grand Haven testing locations will be CLOSED Nov 26-28

    Ottawa County COVID-19 testing site updates - NxGen in Holland and Grand Haven testing locations will be CLOSED Nov 26-28.

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    November 23, 2020

    Ottawa Celebrates Adoption Day Tomorrow 11/24

    For many residents, 2020 has been a very tough year. It seems like the challenges keep coming and it is difficult to focus on the positive. With Thanksgiving fast approaching, many families are struggling to find a way to celebrate and identify things for which they are thankful. Several West Michigan families, however, will have the opportunity to find a bright spot in an otherwise complicated year.

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    November 19, 2020

    Please do not line up early at the free community COVID-19 testing sites at the Ottawa County Road Commission facilities

    Please do not arrive early and line up at the free community COVID-19 testing sites. It causes traffic and facility issues. Thank you.
    Next COVID-19 testing event on Friday, November 20 at 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

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    November 18, 2020

    Ottawa County awarded the Gateways for Growth Challenge

    Ottawa County and 18 others, join a network of 71 localities deploying economic research and multi-sector welcoming plans to forward inclusion and economic opportunity for all.

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    November 16, 2020

    Community pop-up sites relocated from Fire Stations to Road Commission locations

    Next COVID-19 testing event on Tuesday, November 17 at 3:00 PM – 7:30 PM

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    November 16, 2020

    Ottawa County Suspends Walk-In Services

    To reduce the spread COVID-19, Ottawa County government offices are requiring appointments for services until further notice.

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    November 11, 2020

    No-cost flu vaccines for children at the Ottawa County Department of Public Health's drive-thru clinic this Saturday

    Saturday, November 14, 2020 at 9:30 am - 12:30 pm the Ottawa County Department of Public Health is offering a no-cost flu vaccine for children (0-18 years of age) who have Medicaid, no insurance or are underinsured. This drive-thru flu clinic will be held at the health department's parking lot located at 12251 James St, Holland. | Spanish

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    November 10, 2020

    Ottawa County COVID-19 testing site update: RELOCATED - Tuesday, November 10 to Zeeland Fire Station at 133 E Roosevelt

    No cost diagnostic testing is available for anyone 5 years of age and older with or without symptoms. Parental/guardian consent is required for minors. No screening and no appointment are needed. Please bring a form of ID (e.g., state or country issued ID or paperwork with your name and address [bill, mail or paystub]). The National Guard will do the testing. Medical Reserve Corps volunteers and Ottawa County employees will provide support functions (instructions, forms, traffic control, data entry, etc.). Watch this video to learn more about the process.

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    November 9, 2020

    Find the 20th Circuit and Ottawa County Probate Courts on Social Media

    “Like” the Courts on Facebook, follow the them on Twitter and Instagram, and find additional information on YouTube and LinkedIn.

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    November 6, 2020

    Rapid increase in Ottawa County’s COVID-19 cases leads to delay in case investigation and contact tracing

    With COVID-19 cases rapidly increasing across Ottawa County and the state, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) has shifted much of its case investigation and contact tracing process to meet the increased demand. As of October 31, 2020, case investigators and contact tracers from the State of Michigan are following up with positive COVID-19 cases and contacts for those who reside in Ottawa County. People who test positive for COVID-19 or have been identified as a close contact to a case should expect a phone call or text message from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The case investigator or contact tracer could be calling from a 616 or other area code but will identify who they are and why they are calling. Caller IDs may also show the number 1-866-80MDHHS (1-866-806-3447) or the name “MI COVID Help”. All case and contact information are protected as confidential to ensure people’s privacy. State and local health departments use the case information to identify and contact individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Information collected for case investigation and contact tracing will not be sold or used for sales or marketing purposes.

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    November 5, 2020

    Apply now for the Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission

    Applications are now being accepted for the Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission. Any interested residents of Ottawa County may apply for the Parks and Recreation Commission through the County’s website. Applications should be submitted asap. The three-year term begins January 1, 2021.

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    November 3, 2020

    Statement from the Ottawa County Department of Public Health on the United States District Court Ruling on Libertas Christian School’s motion for a preliminary injunction against it

    “We applaud Honorable Paul L. Maloney for denying Libertas’ motion to enjoin the Public Health Department from enforcing the State of Michigan’s mask mandate in schools,” said Deputy Health Administrator Marcia Mansaray. “A contrary ruling would have cast doubt on the mask mandate in all sections of society, just as the virus is surging in what appears to be a second wave in Michigan.”

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    November 2, 2020

    AMENDED: Ottawa County Residential Care Order

    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.

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    November 1, 2020

    Efforts by the Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission to Expand the Bend Area Open Space Continue

    Following the purchase of 87 acres of land to expand the Bend Area Open Space in Georgetown Township earlier this year, the acquisition of an adjacent 62 acres of former gravel mining land was completed in October. In addition to Ottawa County Parks millage funding, this expansion was made possible by a grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, as well as funding from the Ottawa County Parks Foundation’s Grand River Greenway Campaign.

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    October 30, 2020

    Ottawa County Department of Public Health issues order for residential care facilities

    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.

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    October 29, 2020

    Free flu vaccine for uninsured adults at Ottawa County community COVID-19 testing sites

    Uninsured adults (18 years of age and older) can get a free flu vaccine at one of the community pop-up COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites listed on page 3 - Grand Haven, Coopersville, Zeeland and Holland.
    English | Spanish

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    October 28, 2020

    Poised to Participate in the November 3 election

    Election Day is less than a week away! It’s time to participate in the democratic process. Whether you’re returning an absentee ballot ahead of time, or heading to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 3, the Ottawa County Clerk’s office has you covered with the information you need to have your voice heard.
    On Election Day, all polling places in Michigan open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
    Find your local polling place here
    With accurate information, #OttawaVotes!

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    October 26, 2020

    Ottawa County COVID-19 testing site update: CANCELED - Tuesday, October 27 at Hudsonville City Fire Department

    For other Ottawa County locations and testing site information, visit www.miOttawa.org/coronavirus.

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    October 23, 2020

    Ottawa County Parks mourns the loss of Peter Secchia

    The Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission and Ottawa County Parks Foundation mourn the loss of former US Ambassador Peter Secchia, who was a long-term supporter and also a dedicated volunteer for Ottawa County Parks.

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    October 23, 2020

    Final cease-and-desist order issued to Libertas Christian School in Hudsonville

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) has a lawful duty to continually and diligently endeavor to prevent disease, prolong life and promote public health. It is a priority of the OCDPH to partner with the Ottawa County community by working together to slow the spread of COVID-19. Through greater awareness of disease prevention methods and timely identification of those who may be carriers of the new coronavirus, we can be successful in getting through this pandemic and staying open.

    Public Health Order

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    October 21, 2020

    2021 Ottawa County Parks, Recreation, & Open Space Plan now available for public comment

    A draft of the 2021 longe-range parks plan is ready for review. A public meeting is planned for the December 2 Parks Commission meeting (approximate time TBA; meeting begins at 3 pm). Public comment will be available via Zoom; a link to the meeting will be available on the day of the meeting at miOttawa.org/parks. Comments may also be sent via email or mailed to the Parks administrative office: 12220 Fillmore St., West Olive, MI 49460. Please submit all comments by November 20, 2020.

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    October 20, 2020

    It's time to play Parks Bingo!

    Careerline Tech Center’s futurePREP’d program and Ottawa County Parks & Recreation are hosting a series of events to encourage students and their families to get outside this fall. This will be the kick-off event for Hope College’s Little Read Lakeshore program, an annual, month-long community-wide reading program. The community focus book is “Galapagos Girl” that tells the story of how a young girl connects to the natural world while living on the Galapagos islands.

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    October 20, 2020

    Making a PLAN for the November 3 General Election

    Ensure you’re ready to exercise your right to vote this Election Day by developing a voting plan.
    Sound daunting? Don’t worry - the Ottawa County Clerk’s office is here to help! This week, we’re sharing facts and links to assist voters with planning ahead of the big day.

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    October 20, 2020

    Ottawa County Census self-response rates up 4.1% over 2010

    Despite the outbreak of Covid-19 and an end date that was a bit of a moving target, the 2020 Census wrapped up in Ottawa County with an estimated self-response rate of 79.5%, up 4.1% from 2010. This once-a-decade roll call informs how more than $675 billion in funding for more than 100 federal programs are distributed. This Census was unique in that it marked the first time everyone in the U.S. could respond online. Having this option proved to be an advantage when door-to-door visits were delayed due to the pandemic.

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    October 20, 2020

    Holland's Fifelski Honored with Excellence in Equity Award

    Esther Fifelski, the City of Holland's Director of Human Relations, has been named the 2020 Excellence in Equity Award recipient. The news was announced today at the Ottawa County Diversity Forum. Because the forum was held virtually this year, the Award Decision Committee surprised Fifelski with the announcement on Monday, October 12. Watch the video of Esther Fifelski receiving her award.

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    October 16, 2020

    PREPARE, PLAN & PARTICIPATE ahead of November 3 General Election

    Whether you’re planning to vote in person on Nov. 3, or are completing an absentee ballot ahead of time, we know that you need accurate and verifiable information about how to vote. But with so much misinformation out there, it can be hard to get the straight facts.

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    October 14, 2020

    Ottawa County implements an improved automated system for case and contact investigation

    Disease investigations — case management and contact tracing — are fundamental activities that involve following up with a person (symptomatic and asymptomatic) who has been diagnosed with an infectious disease like COVID-19. This process can be time-consuming but it is critical to identify people who may have been exposed to an infected person. Public health agencies are responsible for conducting disease investigations and have legal mandates that require them to identify communicable diseases and notify people who have been exposed. The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) has been doing this work for decades to stop or slow the spread of diseases such as tuberculosis, sexually transmitted infections, chickenpox and new diseases like COVID-19.

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    October 12, 2020

    Ottawa County plans 15th Annual Water Quality Forum

    Register now at miOttawa.org for the Ottawa County Water Quality Forum scheduled for November 2.

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    October 9, 2020

    Ottawa Sands Master Plan Concepts - now available online

    Initial public input events for the Ottawa Sands Master Plan are complete, as well as natural features inventory and analysis of plant communities, wetlands, and herpetology. Based on this input, our consultant has developed concepts and options for park development that you can now view online!

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    October 5, 2020

    Farms are the Tapas raises nearly $20,000 for farmland preservation

    The specter of coronavirus derailed many events in 2020, but not Ottawa County’s premier farmland preservation fundraiser and chefs competition, Farms are the Tapas. With the public’s safety in mind, the Agricultural Preservation Board and Farmland Preservation Program staff rolled up their sleeves and hammered out a plan to adjust to the new reality.

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    October 5, 2020

    Statement from the Ottawa County Health Officer about Governor's revoked emergency powers and local actions

    On Friday, October 2, 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court determined that the Governor did not have the authority to issue executive orders under emergency declarations past April 30, 2020. The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is currently evaluating future actions to ensure the continued health and safety of Ottawa County residents. Public health orders for isolation and quarantine are not affected by the Supreme Court’s ruling. These actions are authorized under the Michigan Public Health Code, a law that was enacted by the Michigan Legislature in 1978 and remains in effect.

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    October 5, 2020

    Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission welcomes Lukas Hill

    Lukas Hill is a graduate of Northern Michigan University and is Certified Planner through the American Institute of Certified Planners. Hill has lived in Ottawa County for the last 15 years with his family while working for Spring Lake Township as their Community Development Director. Part of his role with the Township is to help develop park and recreation plans and coordinate associated grants with various state and local agencies. Hill successfully managed a joint grant application with the City of Norton Shores that doubled the size of Black Lake Park and improved it with an accessible kayak launch.

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    October 1, 2020

    USDA awards Beginning Farmer grant to Ottawa County

    Picture a farmer. Is this person you imagined a little older? That’s not surprising. Almost a third of farmers in Ottawa County are over age 65, and less than 10% are under 35. To counteract this concerning trend, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded the County $44,885 to build up its local support system for new and prospective farmers.

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    October 1, 2020

    Ottawa County health officials see GVSU positive COVID-19 cases trend downward - Staying Safe order to be issued

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) had issued a “Staying in Place” Order that began on September 17, 2020, at 12:01 a.m., and is scheduled to expire at 11:59 p.m. October 1. The OCDPH has been conducting surveillance of COVID-19 cases associated with Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and has found that epidemiological data indicate a marked improvement. Over the last couple of weeks, the number of positive COVID-19 test results has shown a steady decline in and around the GVSU on-campus and off-campus housing in Allendale Township, Michigan. This encouraging trend comes as a result of the extra efforts of the GVSU students, staff and faculty diligently adhering to the disease prevention measures and working closely with the OCDPH health officials.

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    October 1, 2020

    Registration Open for the 2020 Ottawa County Diversity Forum

    Registration for the Fifth Annual Ottawa County Diversity Forum is now open. The forum, to be held virtually this year, is scheduled for October 20 from 8:15AM to 3PM. The online forum is limited to the first 300 registrants and the cost is $25. Visit miOttawa.org to register. Registration closes on October 16.

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    September 18, 2020

    Ottawa Sands Master Plan Concepts - Public Input Event

    Initial public input events for the Ottawa Sands Master Plan have now been completed, as well as natural features inventory and analysis of plant communities, wetlands, and herpetology. You can view this information here. Based on this input, our consultant has developed concepts and options for park development that will be presented at an open house event, please join us! - Saturday, October 3, 2020 2-4 pm
    Coast Guard Park Picnic Shelter

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    September 17, 2020

    No cost COVID-19 community pop-up testing sites in Ottawa County continues

    No-cost diagnostic testing is available for anyone 5 years of age and older with or without symptoms. Parental/guardian consent is required for minors. No screening and no appointments are needed. Please bring a form of ID (e.g., state or country issued ID or paperwork with your name and address [bill, mail or paystub]).

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    September 16, 2020

    Ottawa County COVID-19 case increase among young adults prompts public health officials to issue a ‘Staying in Place’ order for GVSU Allendale

    Ottawa County, Mich. – The State of Michigan and Ottawa County are under states of emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 poses an imminent danger to public health. The public health officer of the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) has issued an order requiring all Grand Valley State University (GVSU) students living in on-campus housing or living in off-campus housing in Allendale Township, Michigan, to remain in their designated residence at all times for 14 days beginning September 17, 2020, at 12:01 a.m. and ending October 1, 2020, 11:59 p.m. Students may not return to their home address unless for an emergency.

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    September 16, 2020

    Ottawa County COVID-19 case increase among young adults prompts public health officials to prepare additional mitigation strategies with GVSU

    The State of Michigan and Ottawa County are under states of emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 poses an imminent danger to public health. The public health officer of the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is working with Ottawa County and Grand Valley State University (GVSU) leaders to prepare additional community mitigation strategies to contain the COVID-19 outbreak among the GVSU Allendale campus.

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    September 14, 2020

    Farms Are the Tapas: Auction Opens 9/17/2020

    Our premier farmland preservation fundraising event features local chefs creating locally sourced signature dishes as part of a friendly competition to win the coveted Harvest Knife Award. Guests will have an opportunity to taste tapas, vote on your favorite dish, and virtually bid on a unique selection of silent auction items - all while supporting farmland preservation!

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    September 14, 2020

    New Nature Programs for Students Ages 4 - 14

    New this year! Ottawa County Parks is offering the Outdoor Explorer program designed for students who are participating in remote/virtual learning (or any child who needs an extra dose of nature!) because time spent outdoors is crucial to our health and well-being.

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    September 11, 2020

    No cost COVID-19 community pop-up testing sites in Ottawa County starting again this Tuesday

    No cost diagnostic testing is available for anyone 5 years of age and older with or without symptoms. Parental/guardian consent is required for minors. No screening and no appointment are needed. Please bring a form of ID (e.g., state or country issued ID or paperwork with your name and address [bill, mail or paystub]).

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    September 8, 2020

    TODAY UNTIL 8 PM - Free COVID-19 testing at Holland Fire Station on James St

    FREE COVID-19 testing at 12169 James St, Holland, MI 49424 - Inside the Fire Station building - No appointment - No screening

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    August 27, 2020

    Technology helps families resolve disputes online

    Families in Ottawa County can now resolve parenting time matters outside of the courtroom, thanks to new technology through Friend of the Court. Online Dispute Resolution enables parents to access their caseworkers at the 20th Circuit Court Friend of the Court office using their smartphone, tablet or computer. The Online Dispute Resolution platform can be viewed at cii2.courtinnovations.com/MIC20.

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    August 26, 2020

    COVID-19 underscores importance of farmland preservation

    Few would argue agriculture is an easy profession. When Mother Nature or the market throws a curveball, farming industry professionals stand ready. But when COVID-19 arrived in Michigan, it hit our agriculture sector hard by disrupting supply chains. Fresh milk was dumped; meat processing plants were closed; access to vital migrant work became uncertain. Some Ottawa County farmers felt the crisis in their pocketbooks immediately and had to quickly adjust.

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    August 24, 2020

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Health Department COVID-19 phone calls

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health has received numerous phone calls from schools and parents about various COVID-19 concerns that should be directed to the school liaisons. Because of the call volume, we're experiencing extended wait and significantly delayed response times.

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    August 20, 2020

    What happens when there's a positive COVID-19 case in an Ottawa County school?

    Positive COVID-19 cases in schools are inevitable, but how do we minimize risks?
    The health and safety of educators, school staff and students are a top priority. The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) has been working closely with the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (OAISD) and its member schools on plans of how to safely return kids to school. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the OCDPH has been committed to working alongside the OAISD to address the needs of students, staff and their families. Both agencies continue that collaborative relationship as schools work through the difficult challenge of bringing students back to the classroom.

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    August 19, 2020

    COVID-19 Community Testing Events - UPDATED

    UPDATED INFORMATION: Testing is now available to those 5 years of age and older with parental/guardian consent at no cost and the Hudsonville 08/24 location change.

    COVID-19 testing is an important tool in helping to understand the scope of community-wide spread and making data-informed decisions on how to best protect the people of Ottawa County. If you have COVID-like symptoms and/or have been in close contact with someone infected with the new coronavirus please get tested and self-quarantine. Contact your primary care provider for any medical needs.

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    August 14, 2020

    COVID-19 Community Testing Events

    COVID-19 testing is an important tool in helping to understand the scope of community-wide spread and making data-informed decisions on how to best protect the people of Ottawa County. If you have COVID-like symptoms and/or have been in close contact with someone infected with the new coronavirus please get tested and self-quarantine. Contact your primary care provider for any medical needs. Click below to find a community testing site.

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    August 6, 2020

    Lotteries for Special Hunting Permits Now Open

    Hunting is an important part of managing natural lands and parks in Ottawa County. Biodiversity is dependent on a delicate balance of predator and prey populations. In Michigan, this balance has been altered by a significant loss of predators, like wolves. As a result, some prey populations, such as deer, do not have the natural checks and balances needed to prevent overpopulation. Humans have always been and continue to play an important role in hunting prey populations.

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    August 1, 2020

    Outbreak of Salmonella Newport Infections Linked to Onions

    Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, sell, or serve red, white, yellow, or sweet onions from Thomson International, Inc. or products containing such onions. If you cannot tell if your onion is from Thomson International Inc., or your food product contains such onions, you should not eat, sell, or serve it, and should throw it out.

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    July 30, 2020

    Farms are the Tapas 2020 – Registration Now Open!

    Ottawa County's Farmland Preservation Program is proud to be hosting its 4th annual Farms are the Tapas fundraising event on September 24, 2020, at beautiful Terra Square in Hudsonville.
    The event will again feature local chefs creating locally sourced signature dishes as part of a friendly competition to win the coveted Harvest Knife Award. Guests will have an opportunity to taste tapas; vote on your favorite dish; enjoy music and dessert; and virtually bid on a unique selection of silent auction items – all while supporting farmland preservation.

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    July 29, 2020

    Farmland Protection in Ottawa County Gains Traction and Acres

    The Kruithoff family has raised hogs, beef cattle, and crops in Kent and Ottawa Counties for 50 years. Tim Kruithoff started farming with his father 29 years ago, joined by his wife Christine, and now two of their three children also farm full time with them. And the Kruithoffs have made certain their grandkids, great-grandkids, and beyond will have that same opportunity – on July 27, 2020, they permanently protected 148 acres in Wright and Chester Townships in Ottawa County.

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    July 24, 2020

    Identifying Ottawa County's Health Needs

    The Ottawa County Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (BRFS) started last month and the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is asking people (18 years of age and older) who receive a call to please take 20-30 minutes and provide valuable feedback. Your caller ID may show a 423 area code number coming from Tennessee. Please answer the call and help us identify local health-related needs and concerns.

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    July 15, 2020

    Local Artists Awarded at Art Trust Exhibition

    Ottawa County and the Holland Area Arts Council, today, announced which works have been purchased to become part of the permanent collection of the Ottawa County Art Trust. Ten pieces were chosen for purchase awards from a total of 46 entries by 29 artists who live or work in Ottawa County.

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    July 14, 2020

    Special Event: Ottawa Sands Park Field Day Saturday, July 18, 2020 from 10 am-2 pm

    Swing by Ottawa Sands County Park for an afternoon of family-friendly activities*, snacks, and an opportunity to weigh-in on future improvements. Rain or shine, it will be a fun, free event for all the community to enjoy! Your input from the community field day will directly inform the Visioning Plan design process. Information on additional community input sessions will be made available as dates and locations are scheduled. Attendees are encouraged to drive into the park on Saturday; the gate will be open.
    *Activities/input areas will be set up for appropriate social distancing.

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    July 9, 2020

    Forest Restoration along the Grand River Greenway

    Ottawa County Parks & Recreation has two major restoration projects slated for this summer. The first is an oak savanna restoration project at the newly acquired Stearns Creek Park. The second is a restoration of flood plain forest and bur oak plains at Eastmanville Farm.

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    July 7, 2020

    Tips to stay safe and healthy during extreme heat

    Summertime is here and it’s a HOT one! An excessive heat watch is in effect for Ottawa County. Be sure to take precautions to stay healthy and safe, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to heat safety, people should remain vigilant to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following the disease prevention guidelines - wash hands often, clean and disinfect surfaces, avoid close contact with others, wear a face covering when around others and stay home if you are not feeling well.

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    July 2, 2020

    Vacancy on Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission

    The Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission lost one of its best advocates in June after a brief fight with cancer. David VanGinhoven gave much of himself for the betterment of the communities of Ottawa County. The Parks Commission and the Parks Foundation are fortunate to be two of many organizations to which David donated his time, talents, and leadership. His passing has created a public vacancy for the duration of his term on the Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission.

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    June 30, 2020

    Ottawa County Seeking Excellence in Equity Award Nominees

    Ottawa County is seeking nominations for the Excellence in Equity Award now through August 31. Submit entries HERE. The award was established in 2019 to recognize individuals who impact the public sector field in Ottawa County and focus on the importance of equity through their practices, programs, policies and decision making.

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    June 30, 2020

    Join us on Facebook LIVE - 4:30 pm Today - Tuesday, June 30, 2020

    Please join us today at 4:30 pm for the Ottawa County COVID-19 updates during a Facebook Live briefing. If you cannot make the event, it will be available on the county's Facebook page or go to www.miOttawa.org/miHealth.

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    June 29, 2020

    Ottawa County Study Reveals the Challenges Youth Face

    The YAS (Youth Assessment Survey) provides evidence-based information about what the biggest needs are (and aren’t) among Ottawa County teens.

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    June 23, 2020

    No-cost HIV testing event this Thursday in Ottawa County

    Thursday, June 25
    9am to 4pm
    12251 James St, Holland

    20-minute rapid testing will be conducted in a tent adjacent to Building C. Attendees should expect to wait for results and discuss follow-up options if needed. No appointment needed - Easily accessible - No cost!

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    June 22, 2020

    Ottawa Sands Master Planning Updates - Survey, Public Event, and More

    Swing by Ottawa Sands County Park for an afternoon of family-friendly activities*, tasty food, and an opportunity to weigh-in on future improvements. Rain or shine, it will be a fun, free event for all the community to enjoy! Your input from the community field day will directly inform the Visioning Plan design process. Information on additional community input sessions will be made available as dates and locations are scheduled.

    *Activities/input areas will be set up for appropriate social distancing.

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    June 15, 2020

    Identifying Ottawa County's Health Needs

    The Ottawa County Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (BRFS) started last week and we are asking people who are contacted to please take 20-30 minutes to provide valuable feedback. Ottawa County residents (18 years of age and older) will have the opportunity to give input on local health-related needs and concerns. The BRFS periodically monitors health among various geographic areas within Ottawa County. At least 1,200 residents will be randomly selected and contacted by Wilkins Research. If you receive a call from phone number 423-777-5497, please be sure to answer. Survey calls will be made through July 2020 (or even longer) to landline and mobile phones. Participation is voluntary and anonymous.

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    June 10, 2020

    Ottawa Voters to receive absentee ballot applications from County next week

    Although residents in hundreds of communities throughout Michigan are receiving applications to vote from the Michigan Secretary of State, registered voters in Ottawa County can expect to receive a mailing from the County instead. This postcard mailing, set to arrive in mailboxes in the next week, informs voters of their right to participate in the elections process by absentee ballot, and includes an application for their ballot that can be mailed back to their local jurisdiction clerk.

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    June 5, 2020

    Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Update Kirk Park Dog Beach

    As of June 5, we have re-opened the Kirk Park Dog Beach with limited hours.

    Dogs are allowed at Kirk Park daily between 7-10 am and 7-10 pm. If dogs are not at the dog beach, they are required to be leashed and under control at all times. This includes walking to and from the beach.

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    June 3, 2020

    Free COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing this Weekend - June 6 & 7

    This event helps public health officials identify COVID-19 infection in our community, isolate positive cases and find close contacts for follow-up monitoring. Some people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms and don’t know they have it. They can continue spreading the virus and can cause serious illness in others. This event will provide testing for them and many others.

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    June 3, 2020

    Ottawa County's unemployment rate surges

    The preliminary unemployment rates for April 2020 were released last week by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget. The data show a significant increase in unemployment rates in every county due to the impacts of COVID-19.

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    June 2, 2020

    A community working together for a Healthy Ottawa

    Public health challenges and individual health outcomes are too great for a person, organization or sector to solve alone. Community members and stakeholders who’ve been a part of previous assessments and planning are joining forces again to identify and remedy current health needs in Ottawa County.

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    June 2, 2020

    Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Update

    A number of sections in EO 2020-110, announced on June 1, are specifically relevant to parks and park users. Please see below for a list of updates and re-opening dates of park amenities. We appreciate your patience as we work through these changes...

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    June 1, 2020

    Ottawa Food Launches Real Food Can Campaign

    Ottawa Food has just launched a public awareness marketing campaign that encourages Ottawa County residents to consume more fruits and vegetables. The Real Food Can campaign addresses identified barriers to fruit and vegetable consumption, including cost and lack of knowledge about how to prepare these items. Real Food Can aims to show that eating fruits and vegetables can be: Accessible, Affordable, Convenient, Delicious, Local, and Safe.

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    June 1, 2020

    Ottawa County Clerk's Office Launches Website Detailing Security of Elections Process

    A new website, www.miottawa.org/securingthevote, launched today provides citizens in Ottawa County with information on how their votes are counted and details the security steps that go into the elections process.

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    May 28, 2020

    Thrive Ottawa County Launches Adverse Childhood Experiences Awareness Campaign

    Thrive Ottawa County, a collaborative effort between dozens of Ottawa County organizations, has begun a campaign to educate the general public about the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). There is a strong connection between childhood experiences of abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction and an adult's physical, emotional, and social health outcomes.

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    May 27, 2020

    Lakeshore Food Rescue - Farmers Relief Effort

    Families and farmers in West Michigan are facing economic challenges of historic scale as the impact of COVID-19 has washed over our region and there is a great need to help our community get through this difficult time. Ottawa Food is working with four local food pantries - Salvation Army, St. Francis de Sales Parish, Harvest Stand Ministries and Community Action House to purchase produce directly from local farmers to feed local families.

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    May 26, 2020

    Ottawa County Population and Growth Rates

    The 2019 population estimates for townships, cities, and villages were released by the U.S. Census Bureau last week. Some of the Ottawa County highlights are provided below:

    Since 2010, all local units have continued to gain population. The greatest growth was seen in Allendale (29%), Jamestown (26.5%), Spring Lake (26.1%), and Blendon (17.8%) townships. Between 2018 and 2019, Jamestown Township experienced the greatest population growth (3.5%). The County population estimates, which were released in March, showed Ottawa County as the fastest growing in the State and the 8th most populous.

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    May 23, 2020

    ATTENTION HOLLAND FARMERS MARKET SHOPPERS: If you purchased flat-leaf parsley this morning (Saturday, May 23) from Future Days Farm, do NOT eat it!

    ATTENTION HOLLAND FARMERS MARKET SHOPPERS: If you purchased flat-leaf parsley this morning (Saturday, May 23) from Future Days Farm at the Holland Farmers Market, do NOT eat it! The Ottawa County Department of Public Health was just notified by the Holland Farmers Market that another plant was mixed into the farm's flat-leaf parsley crop and it is not safe to eat. If you purchased flat-leaf parsley from them within the first hour and a half of the market (8-9:30 am), please contact the market immediately at info@hollandfarmersmarket.com. Future Days Farm was located on the south side of the Eighth Street Market Place, close to Maple Avenue near the Civic Center Building.

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    May 20, 2020

    Ottawa County, Michigan Community Mental Health Press Releases May is Mental Health Month

    May is Mental Health Month. This national time of observation raises awareness of mental health needs, reduces stigma about mental illness, and educates people on mental health resources in their community. In the United States one in five people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime and almost everyone will face challenges in life that can impact their mental health. The good news is there are many resources available to improve mental health and increase resiliency - and there are ways you can be supportive of friends, family, and co-workers who are struggling with life's challenges or their mental health.

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    May 18, 2020

    Residents at Christian Haven Home in Grand Haven test positive for COVID-19

    Christian Haven Home assisted living, like so many other long-term care facilities across the country, has felt the effects of COVID-19. Several residents have just tested positive; one employee had tested positive 3½ weeks ago, another was tested earlier yesterday and is awaiting results. The employee who had tested positive notified us immediately when feeling symptoms. The employee was not working when symptomatic and has not yet returned to work.

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    May 14, 2020

    Ottawa County Parks & Recreation: Bringing Nature to You

    Ottawa County Parks & Recreation offers nature programs and outdoor recreation opportunities for all ages, in every season. Due to concerns related to COVID-19, spring programs and some summer camps have been cancelled. With the Nature Center closed and group programs on-hold, the Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission has shifted gears to continue to offer nature programs to citizens online.

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    May 12, 2020

    EPA awards $300,000 for brownfield redevelopment

    In a win for local economic revitalization, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) on May 6 awarded Ottawa County $300,000 for environmental site assessment and cleanup planning for brownfield properties. This grant is part of $65 million worth of brownfield site assessment, revolving loan fund, and cleanup grants awarded to 155 communities by the USEPA.

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    May 7, 2020

    Judge Jonas honored by the Michigan Association of Treatment Court Professionals

    On May 5, 2020, Judge Susan Jonas was presented with The Honorable William G. Schma Award by the Michigan Association of Treatment Court Professionals. The Schma Award is the association’s most prestigious award and is presented to persons who have made outstanding contributions to treatment courts in Michigan.

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    April 20, 2020

    Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Survey and Long Range Parks Plan

    Citizen Feedback Requested

    The Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission is preparing its five-year Parks, Recreation, & Open Space Plan that will be released in 2021.
    "Our five-year plan is crucial to the success of our parks system," said Jason Shamblin, Ottawa County Parks Director. "It not only ensures that we are eligible for state grant funds, like the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund that has helped fund some of our biggest projects, it also provides a road map for park and trail development and accessibility improvements."

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    April 16, 2020

    There is still time to apply to preserve your farmland.

    Farmland Preservation Application Deadline

    If you have been thinking about applying to preserve your farmland through the Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) program, now is the time as the April 30 deadline is fast approaching. This program allows interested parties to preserve their eligible, agriculturally zoned property by selling its development rights. Creating easements through the sale of development rights guarantees the land is used for agricultural purposes or remains in a natural state in perpetuity. Landowners are compensated for lost development potential, yet still own the land and retain all other rights associated with it.

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    April 15, 2020

    The Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission and the Ottawa County Parks Foundation reached an important milestone toward completing the Bend Area and expanding the Grand River Greenway

    An agreement has been reached with landowners to sell 87 acres of former gravel-mining land in Georgetown Township. This acquisition is key to a long-term plan to develop a major regional park – the Bend Area - in the County’s most populous local unit and adds vital natural and recreational land to the Grand River Greenway.

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    March 27, 2020

    Prevent COVID-19 with the #OttawaStaysHome challenge

    Announcing the #OttawaStaysHome Challenge

    For the next several weeks, residents remain under the state's ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Staying home is difficult, so the Ottawa County Department of Public Health is inviting residents to participate in the #OttawaStaysHome challenge. The challenge asks the community to share on social media why they stay home or show what they are doing to occupy the time. Use the hashtag #OttawaStaysHome across platforms. The County will share its favorite posts, images and videos. Be creative! Do a distance dance on Tik Tok. Share a picture of a health care hero on Instagram. Boast about a latest diy project on Facebook. The County's hope is that collectively, these messages will show our community that everyone has to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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    March 24, 2020

    Essential Human Services & Nonprofits Open During Michigan Shutdown

    On Monday, March 23, Governor Whitmer issued an executive order suspending activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. The order mandated that residents remain home, leaving only for essential functions. At this time, most vital human services organizations in Ottawa County will remain open and accessible to those seeking assistance. These agencies will continue to ensure vulnerable citizens are housed, fed and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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    March 20, 2020

    Public Health Limited Operations Update

    As of Thursday, March 19, 2020, The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) office on James Street in Holland has been closed to the public for all non-scheduled, in-person visits until further notice. Visits for essential services are available by appointment through calling the main phone number at 616-396-5266. See more information by program for the services offered and unique ways to stay in touch with each program. The OCDPH offices in Grand Haven and Hudsonville closed for all services on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, until further notice.

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    March 20, 2020

    COVID-19: Second positive case in Ottawa County

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) was notified later today of another resident who tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The case is an adult female with no other information, at this time. OCDPH officials are working on the investigation and identifying contacts.

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    March 20, 2020

    Ottawa Courts Closed Except for Essential Health and Safety and Constitutional Rights

    The 20th Circuit, 58th District and Ottawa County Probate Courts today announced that access to courtrooms and other spaces is now limited to no more than 10 persons, including staff, effective immediately. The court is closed to the general public except for essential functions involving health and safety and Constitutional rights.

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    March 19, 2020

    Ottawa County Parks & Recreation COVID-19 Information

    Ottawa County Parks will be implementing the following plans immediately. The purpose of these decisions are to ensure we're doing all we can to slow the spread of COVID-19 by following recommendations made by the CDC, Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH), and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

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    March 19, 2020

    Community Mental Health of Ottawa County (CMHOC)

    COVID-19 Emergency Operations Guidance

    The CMHOC offices in Holland and Grand Haven will remain open for emergent needs and critical care. CMHOC is the safety net provider and will continue to provide behavioral health services to our consumers and people who are experiencing a mental health crisis.

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    March 18, 2020

    Ottawa County Suspends In-Person Services

    Ottawa County has been balancing its responsibility of providing public services alongside its obligations of preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the community and protecting the health of its 1,100 employees, including its emergency responders. Effective 5PM today (March 18, 2020), Ottawa County will close its government buildings to the public until further notice to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Despite this, the County will continue to fulfill as many of its obligations to provide government services as possible. Residents should visit the website at miOttawa.org/closures to access services online, and to learn how they can do business by phone, email or other means.

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    March 16, 2020

    OTTAWA AREA SCHOOLS PROVIDE FREE MEALS TO ALL STUDENTS ACROSS REGION DURING SCHOOL CLOSING PERIOD

    K-12 school districts throughout the Ottawa area are working to ensure that all students throughout the OAISD service region are included in meal distribution plans during the school closure period amid the COVID-19 emergency.

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    March 16, 2020

    Ottawa County COVID-19 Response

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is hosting a joint press conference on Monday, March 16, 2020 at 4:15 pm. Daily briefings will be held at 4:15 pm until further notice.

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    March 15, 2020

    COVID-19: First positive case in Ottawa County for Coronavirus Disease 2020

    The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) was notified today of a resident who tested presumptive positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Specimen will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for confirmatory testing. The case is an adult female with no known travel and is in isolation. OCDPH health officials are working to identify contacts and apprise their level of risk. We will keep the public informed as more information becomes available and of any potential threat to the public.

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    March 14, 2020

    Community groups rally to help during COVID-19

    New website, careOttawaCounty.com, connects residents with volunteer needs during COVID-19 outbreak

    As individuals, we are all taking steps to prevent spread of COVID-19: washing our hands, avoiding close contact with others, and staying home when we are sick. During this time, we also have an impulse to help our neighbors. To make helping easy, Ottawa County community groups have mobilized to create a website: www.careottawacounty.com. Those wishing to assist will be connected to a variety of opportunities to make an impact: volunteering, donating goods or making a financial gift. The hub was developed by a community coalition including the Greater Ottawa County United Way, The Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance, Community Spoke and The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area.

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    March 13, 2020

    58th District Court Takes COVID-19 Prevention Measures

    In response to the emergency declarations made by President Trump and Governor Whitmer, the 58th District Court will be curtailing its operations to eliminate non-essential activities in order to avoid unnecessary in-person contact between court users and court staff. These measures are being taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

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    March 13, 2020

    Ottawa County Parks & Recreation COVID-19 Information

    Ottawa County Parks will be implementing the following plans immediately. The purpose of these decisions are to ensure we're doing all we can to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19 by following recommendations made by the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). Click here to sign up for OCDPH alerts related to COVID-19.

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    March 12, 2020

    COVID-19: Community mitigation guidance from the Ottawa County Department of Public Health

    With Governor Whitmer's announcement of two positive COVID-19 cases in Michigan on March 10, 2020 and with the state's community mitigation guidance on March 11, 2020, we understand there are many questions about what this may mean for your organization. The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is working closely with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), county officials, healthcare providers, long-term care facilities, businesses, schools and so many more community organizations and members.

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    March 6, 2020

    Hot Dog Names of 2019 🐶

    Roll over Molly and Cooper. You're off the list of Ottawa County's hot dog names for the year 2019. That's right. The Ottawa County Treasurer's Office has the top ten list you've been waiting fur all year: the top dog names of 2019 based upon the licenses issued.

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    February 28, 2020

    Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) - What you need to know

    There is an expanding global outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. The disease it causes is called Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19. It was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. While most COVID-19 cases outside of China have been associated with travel to or from China, community spread is being detected in a growing number of countries. For the general American public, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is low. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa County or in Michigan.

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    February 26, 2020

    Ottawa County awarded $438,750 grant for farmland preservation

    More than 168 acres of Ottawa County agricultural heritage is poised for protection thanks to a $438,750 Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) Local Farmland Preservation Program grant. Through a competitive application process, this program awards funds to local Purchase of Development Rights programs for permanent agricultural conservation easements. Out of 13 agricultural parcels submitted by nine farmland preservation programs, only five were picked. This is the first time an Ottawa County property has made the cut.

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    February 24, 2020

    Ottawa Court Nationally Recognized for Exemplary Practices

    The 20th Circuit Court is pleased to announce that the Ottawa County Recovery Court (drug court), a specialty program for non-violent felony offenders with acute substance use disorders, has been selected as one of eight “mentor courts” in the United States by the United States Department of Justice and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) for 2020-2022.

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    February 11, 2020

    February is National Condom Month - Wear One!

    The American Sexual Health Association recognizes each February as National #CondomMonth. The Ottawa County Department of Public Health provides free condoms at various locations throughout the county and state (click for a list of locations). Residents of Ottawa or Allegan County can also order condoms by mail here. Not having sex is the best way to keep from getting sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you choose to be sexually active, correct and consistent use of condoms is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of STIs.

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    February 7, 2020

    Special Event: Piece Together Parks

    Please join the Ottawa County Parks Foundation and Grand Haven Eagles to raise funds and build jigsaw puzzles to support Ottawa County Parks.

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    February 7, 2020

    Mobile dental unit participates in “Give Kids a Smile!” TODAY

    Dr. Jack McIntyre Jr. DDS will be the dentist on the Ottawa County Department of Public Health’s Miles of Smiles mobile dental unit TODAY for Give Kids a Smile Day. He will provide comprehensive dental care for Medicaid insured and financially qualifying uninsured children at Woodside Elementary. Every child will receive a gift bag complete with a toothbrush, toothpaste, prize and oral health education.

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    January 30, 2020

    Ottawa County Road Commission statement on state road bonding plan

    The Board of County Road Commissioners, County of Ottawa, has released the following statement regarding Gov. Whitmer's bonding proposal for road improvements. While we appreciate the effort by the Governor and state leaders to find a funding solution to fix the state’s roads and bridges, we are disappointed that funding for county roads seems to be left out of the most-recent proposal.

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    January 29, 2020

    Protecting the farm: applications to preserve land now being accepted

    In the past five years, Ottawa County has lost more than 14,000 acres of farmland. This contraction is no coincidence considering Ottawa is the fastest growing county in the state. Add in the fact that roughly 30% of the nearly 2,000 Ottawa County producers are of retirement age, and less than 10% are under 35, and it’s easy to see why valuable agriculture acreage is disappearing.

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    January 14, 2020

    Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission welcomes new members

    Greg DeJong, a member of the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners, replaced Matt Fenske on the Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission. Jane Longstreet and Linda McAffrey filled two vacant public positions on the commission.

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    January 14, 2020

    Ottawa County officials approve adding vaping to proposed revisions to the Regulation Eliminating Smoking in Public

    On Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners regular session, officials approved the Ottawa County Health and Human Services Committee's proposed revisions to the County Operations Ordinances (Article 4, Section 400.1.1 Smoking Regulations) to include vaping regulations on or within county property AND proposed revisions to the Ottawa County Regulation Eliminating Smoking in Public and Private Worksites and Public Places to also regulate vaping. Any individuals found in violation of the ordinance shall be guilty of an infraction, leading to a warning and fines.

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    January 14, 2020

    Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance, Ottawa County partner on first-ever Nonprofit Community Assessment

    With hundreds of nonprofits operating in the Ottawa County area, there’s no shortage of organizations seeking to give back. To help these organizations fulfill their mission, a group of local executive directors founded the Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance (LNA) in 2006. Since then, LNA has strived to provide area nonprofits with the tools and knowledge needed to make an impact in the communities they serve.

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    January 9, 2020

    Fifth judgeship recommended for Ottawa County

    The Michigan Supreme Court, through the State Court Administrative Office (SCAO), released the 2019 Judicial Resources Recommendations for the State of Michigan. The report concluded that an additional circuit judgeship be added to the 20th Circuit Court in Ottawa County. These recommendations were based on SCAO’s most recent biennial review of the judicial needs of Michigan courts, and have been forwarded to the legislature. New judgeships must be created by legislation and then approved by the County Board of Commissioners before a new judge can be elected.

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    January 6, 2020

    Proactive Strategies Index tackles Ottawa County's groundwater crisis

    It started with phone calls. It was the mid-2000s, and something was amiss with the water wells in Allendale Township’s Highland Trails subdivision. Homeowners were complaining of low water pressure or even dry faucets. Then, area farmers chimed in – soybean leaves had been ‘burned’ because their irrigation water was salty. These reports were concerning, especially since Ottawa County is the fastest growing county in the state and one of the most agriculturally diverse. As groundwater complaints mounted, the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners requested a water study be conducted to understand the long-term sustainability of the County’s aquifer system.

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Freedom of Information Act Requests

When it comes to your Ottawa County government, we are receptive, responsive and transparent. At the same time, we have a process to standardize operations, keep things timely and streamline the costs. To submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, visit our convenient online FIOC Center. Remember that some materials may be exempt from disclosure by state or federal law, such as information of a personal nature about individuals. For this reason, some records may be unavailable or information will be blocked out, or redacted. It can take up to ten days to receive a response to your request, although we exceed this standard by responding within five days. Occasionally, we will ask for an extension to research your request further.

FOIA Freedom of Information Act Policy