1 Updates continue for Ottawa County

Nick Bonstell, Ottawa County Emergency Management director, speaks during a media briefing about COVID-19. This week, Bonstell touched on the county’s declaration of a local State of Emergency.

Positive case counts for people infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) increased daily as noted in the online updates given by Ottawa County staff this week.

Staff offered tips from the sheriff’s office, informed the public of positive cases and the zip codes of where the cases came from and touched on the county’s State of Emergency declaration.

On Tuesday, the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners completed a declaration of a State of Emergency for the area.

“The official declaration of a local State of Emergency in Ottawa County ensures that we can access all available resources from our state and federal partners in response to COVID-19,” said Nick Bonstell, Ottawa County Emergency Management director.

He noted the declaration also affirms local resources have been fully used in “mission support” to the ongoing virus event.

As of 4 p.m. Friday, there were 21 positive COVID-19 cases in the county, according to Kristina Wieghmink, Department of Public Health public information officer. Two more cases were added to that number on Saturday and three more on Sunday.

Positive cases come from zip codes including: 49401 (Allendale), 49404 (Coopersville), 49417 (Grand Haven), 49423 (Holland), 49424 (Holland), 49426 (Hudsonville), 49428 (Jenison), 49448 (Nunica), 49456 (Spring Lake), 49464 (Zeeland) and 49534 (part of Ottawa County with a Grand Rapids zip code).

“You can assume everywhere you go in public, COVID-19 is going to be around,” Wieghmink reminded viewers throughout the week.

Staff also talked about the governor’s executive order to stay safe by staying indoors.

In a report given Friday by Ottawa County Communications Manager Shannon Felgner, sheriff’s office deputies are encouraging schools and businesses to leave lights on to help deter criminal activity.

Capt. Mark Bennett, with the sheriff’s office, told viewers on Wednesday if they believe a business is violating orders to limit nonessential business, they can send an email to stayhomestaysafecomplaints@miottawa.org. An officer will review complaints that include the date and time of the supposed violation, the business name and address and a description of the violation.

While people may get out and enjoy the county parks at this time, Felgner warned against people congregating. This could lead to closing the parks for the time being.

However, while at home, Felgner said people can participate in the #OttawaStaysHome Challenge. Announced on Friday, the challenge encourages people to share why they won’t be going out and what they are doing to occupy their time.

“We know staying home is difficult, so Ottawa County is inviting everyone to participate in this challenge,” Felgner said. “We’re excited to see how creative you can be.”

Participants should tag the county’s social media pages for this challenge.

Felgner said while fun, this challenge also shows the importance of everyone participating in staying home to decrease the spread of COVID-19.

Updates will continue at approximately 4:30 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, as needed and can be found on the Ottawa County Facebook page.

A link to coronavirus information can be found on Ottawa County’s website at miottawa.org.

Contact Meghan Haas at mhaas@grandhaventribune.com.

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