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Ottawa County patient contracted coronavirus through community spread

Holland Hospital said the patient was discharged on Monday.

HOLLAND, Mich. — The first novel coronavirus, COVID-19, patient reported in Ottawa County had no prior travel history.

"It indicates a possible exposure from an un-diagnosed person within the community," said Lisa Stefanovsky, Ottawa County Department of Public Health Administrative Health Officer during a Tuesday press conference. 

The county was notified of its first case of COVID-19 on Sunday evening. The health department has since identified more than 50 contacts of the patient, who are now all being asked to quarantine. Those people are at varying risks of exposure, and the department says it will be monitoring them daily. The department is not publicly releasing locations where the patient has been. 

"As the situation stands, we are not going to be releasing any public locations," said Derel Glashower, one of the county's senior epidemiologists. "The reason for that is that COVID-19 is not as infectious as other known agents for which we would routinely publish that information."

Holland Hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Schmitt said the hospital was prepared for the positive patient -- a middle-aged woman -- and had the appropriate protocols set up for the staff to care for the individual and minimize the spread of COVID-19. The patient was discharged on Monday. the patient will now be followed by the Ottawa County Department of Public Health, according to the hospital.

Schmitt said the hospital will continue to work closely with the county, state and CDC to follow all protocols to mitigate the spread and protect the health of the community and hospital staff. 

RELATED: West Michigan hospitals limit visitors, cancel appointments amid coronavirus outbreak

Holland Hospital has implemented strict visitor restrictions and screenings at all hospital entrances. Any individuals, including employees, who come to the hospital or any offsite location will be screen for respiratory illness before entering the facility, according to Schmitt. 

Here is our full 13 ON YOUR SIDE coronavirus website.   

Starting Tuesday, March 17, several outpatient services are being consolidated or suspended through April 4. 

Find more information about what Holland Hospital is doing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and changes to their services at hollandhospital.org/covid19.

The hospital also has a free COVID-19 hotline, which can be reached at 616-394-2080. Callers can reach a nurse regarding symptoms and risks, and to determine if testing is needed.

Here's a list of all the confirmed coronavirus cases in Michigan

Do you have more questions about COVID-19 in Michigan? Check out the state's website.

The CDC says patients with a confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.



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