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ST. JOSEPH — COVID-19 hospitalizations at Spectrum Health Lakeland fell to 18 on Tuesday.

The last time the hospital reported less than 20 COVID patients was March 24. Last Tuesday, the hospital reported having 37 COVID patients admitted.

In addition to falling hospital admissions, Berrien County is holding steady at an average of about 33 new COVID-19 cases a day. Last Tuesday, the county had an average of 34 new cases a day.

Since Friday, Berrien County has recorded four additional COVID-19 deaths, bringing the county’s death toll to 254. The county’s deaths continue to be people over the age of 40, according to the Berrien County Health Department’s data dashboard.

Recoveries continue to mount, with the county adding 188 since Friday.

With deaths and recoveries, Berrien County is at about 1,232 active COVID-19 cases. That’s down from 1,359 active cases last Tuesday and 1,490 the Tuesday before that.

Van Buren County recorded three COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, bringing the county’s death toll to 110. Cass County also recorded a death, bringing its death toll to 70.

In addition, Van Buren County recorded 23 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, while Cass County recorded 10.

State reports

On Monday, the state reported two recent COVID-19 outbreaks at area schools. School outbreaks are defined as two or more cases who may have shared exposure on school grounds and are from different households.

Berrien Springs Discovery Academy had two recent cases in a teacher and a student. St. Joseph High School had two recent student cases.

There have been no recent resident cases or deaths at any Berrien, Cass or Van Buren county long-term care facilities, the state also reported Monday. Five staff cases were reported in Berrien County facilities.

Vaccine update

On Monday, Michigan reached 55 percent of residents 16 and up that had received at least their first dose of the vaccine.

Berrien County is at 48 percent with at least their first dose and 39.9 percent that are fully vaccinated, according to state data.

That equates to 105,122 doses given, with 45,774 of those being second doses. This week the FDA authorized the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in ages 12-15.

BCHD officials said Tuesday that they hope to get final approval to start offering the vaccine to that age group by this weekend.

The BCHD reported it is planning on holding Pfizer clinics later this month, but in the meantime, parents can seek Pfizer vaccinations through area pharmacies and/or their pediatrician’s offices.

Contact:, 932-0357, Twitter: @HPANewman