WATERVLIET — Watervliet Public Schools moved all classes at its North Elementary School to online learning Wednesday after a teacher there tested positive for COVID-19.

In a letter to parents, Superintendent Ric Seager said the school, which serves grades 3-5, will be taught virtually through Friday “out of an abundance of caution, and due to the number of close contacts already identified.”

Seager said the closure was not mandated by the Berrien County Health Department, but the district made the move so the health department has time to do contact tracing; custodial and maintenance teams have an opportunity to deeply clean and sanitize the building without students/staff present; and so the district can cover the responsibilities of staff members who will be in quarantine and find subs for them for the extended period.

The goal is for the school to return to in-person learning on Monday. Seager said parents will be communicated to through School Messenger, Facebook, and the district’s website, if there’s a change.

Also on Wednesday, Coloma Community Schools reported on its website that it currently has 18 high school students in quarantine. This represents about 4 percent of its high school students.

Bridgman Public Schools reported on its website on Wednesday that it has four elementary school students, one middle schooler and four other district students in quarantine.

Lakeshore’s Stewart Elementary reopened to students Wednesday after being closed Monday and Tuesday due to a teacher testing positive.

COVID-19 update

The number of COVID-19 patients being treated at Spectrum Health Lakeland rose to 14 on Wednesday. That’s a steady increase from seven last Wednesday, nine on Monday and 12 on Tuesday.

While hospitalizations have risen the last few days, the number of recoveries in Berrien County also has been high.

Berrien County added 21 new COVID-19 cases and 34 recoveries over Tuesday and Wednesday. No new deaths were recorded.

With deaths and recoveries, the county is at about 85 active COVID-19 cases. That’s down from 98 on Monday and 97 last Wednesday.

Berrien and Van Buren county’s percent positivity rates remain below 3 percent, as of Saturday. Cass County’s rose to about 7 percent on Saturday, with about 147 tests being administered daily.

Cass County added a COVID-19 death on Tuesday, bringing the county’s death toll to 17.

In addition, the county added 19 new COVID-19 cases over Tuesday and Wednesday.

Van Buren County added eight new COVID-19 cases over the two days, and still is at 15 recorded deaths.

Contact:, 932-0357, Twitter: @HPANewman