OLIVE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Ottawa County health officials on Monday said they are implementing social distancing practices to slow the spread of coronavirus and called on everyone to step up and help.
“We need to count on every single one of our citizens to help mitigate this disease. We need everybody to be following the orders that are being put forward,” Ottawa County Department of Public Health Health Officer Lisa Stefanovsky said at a Monday afternoon press conference. “We need everybody to cover their mouth when they sneeze and wash their hands and do all of the prevention strategies that are being put out before us. And if we do this, we’ll get through this together with minimal ramifications.”
Ottawa County has recorded one case of COVID-19. The patient, a woman, is being hospitalized at Holland Hospital, which says it has implemented proper procedures to keep staff from contracting the illness.
Stefanovsky released little information about the patient, but said the health department launched an investigation to find out who the woman may have contact with and quarantine and monitor them.
The county has activated its emergency operations center March 11 after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency due to coronavirus. That center coordinates between emergency responders, hospitals, volunteers and education institutions. Officials noted that anyone who calls 911 will be screened for exposure to coronavirus before first responders arrive.
Michigan as a whole has confirmed 54 cases of coronavirus. The others in West Michigan include five people in Kent County and one in Montcalm County. Most are on the southeast side of the state.
Coronavirus presents with a cough, fever and shortness of breath. For most people, it’s mild. Those most at risk for developing serious complications are the elderly and those who have preexisting health problems.
If you think you may have coronavirus, don’t go straight to the hospital unless it’s an emergency. First, call your doctor for a screening and instructions on what to do. Holland Hospital’s screening hotline can be reached from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 616.394.2080.