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Berrien County experiencing increase in COVID-19 cases

The Berrien County Health Department says it has noticed an increase in COVID-19 cases that are not attributable to an increase in testing.

Since the beginning of July there has been an increase in new cases as well as an increase in the percent of test results that are positive.

Many of the new cases are in those under 40 years old.

Even though the county has experienced an increase in cases, it has not had an increase in hospitalizations or deaths.

The county has also seen clusters of cases linked to large gatherings, family parties and church events for the July 4th holiday.

“These trends are certainly something to pay attention to and demonstrate the impact of our collective actions. We all understand the economic and social benefits of having the economy more open, and it is critical that we all take actions that allow things to remain open without leading to surges in COVID-19 transmission” said Berrien County Health Officer, Nicki Britten. “Bearing in mind the start of the new school year is rapidly approaching, we need to make a conscious shift in the way we live our lives to avoid reaching transmission levels that would prohibit in-person instruction for students. That means staying at home as much as possible, especially if you’re feeling sick, reducing how many people we see in person, continuing to wear face coverings and keep physical distance in public.”

“Recently we’ve seen our highest rates in quite some time of both the number of COVID-19 positive patients presenting to the emergency department and the number of COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital,” said Robert Nolan, DO, medical director of emergency medicine, Spectrum Health Lakeland. “While we aren’t taxing our hospital capacity yet, it could happen if people aren’t diligent about social distancing and wearing a mask. These measures are such a small thing to do in consideration of our community, and, if we choose not to follow them, can have profound life ending consequences for some. Wearing a mask isn't necessarily for you, it's for your neighbors and community.”

Health officials urge everyone to do their part in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

  • Wear a face mask when in public places and outdoors when you cannot maintain a six foot distance from others
  • Wash your hands often
  • Stay home when sick
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