Coronavirus

BENTON TOWNSHIP — The number of new COVID-19 cases in Berrien County skyrocketed this week, with 101 new cases being recorded on Friday alone.

The county has recorded 223 new cases since last Friday, nearly doubling the 112 new cases recorded the week before.

“Over the last seven days (Thursday to Thursday) there was an average of 26 new cases per day compared to 16 new cases per day a week ago,” the Berrien County Health Department (BCHD) wrote in its weekly update Friday. “We’re continuing to watch this closely as surrounding areas in the region are seeing increases in cases as well.”

The county’s percent positivity rate rose to about 5 percent this week, another sign that the spread of the virus is picking up again. That’s with about 693 tests being administered daily.

“The level of testing in Berrien County is steady and testing turnaround times continue to be quick,” the BCHD wrote.

New recoveries were high this week at 108 and deaths were still low, with just one being recorded. The previous week the county recorded 77 recoveries and one death.

With deaths and recoveries, the county is up to about 243 active COVID-19 cases, a big jump from 129 last Friday and 95 the week before that.

In total, Berrien County has now had 2,077 confirmed cases, 1,758 recoveries, 76 deaths and 282 probable cases. That’s an addition of 14 probable cases over last week.

Spectrum Health Lakeland was treating 17 COVID-19 patients Friday morning. That’s compared to 13 last Friday and 14 the Friday before that.

“Our healthcare capacity remains strong at the moment, though we do have more people being admitted to the hospital with COVID-19” the BCHD wrote Friday. “Thank you to everyone who is continuing to keep up with all the prevention activities we know will help limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community: social distancing, face coverings, hand hygiene, and staying home/away from others if you’re sick.”

Van Buren/Cass

Cass and Van Buren counties also saw jumps in new COVID-19 cases this week.

Cass County added 104 cases over last Friday. The previous week the county had added 55, and the week before that 41.

The county’s percent positivity rate increased to 4.7 percent this week, up from 4.4 percent last week. That’s with about 136 tests being administered daily.

In addition, the county added 53 recoveries this week. Last week, the county added 31.

It recorded three more COVID-19 deaths this week as well.

In total, Cass County has had 727 cases, 23 deaths and 469 recoveries.

Van Buren County added 77 new COVID-19 cases this week. The previous week the county added 44 and the week before that 33.

The county’s percent positivity rate increased to 4.1 percent this week, up from 3.3 the week before. That’s with about 318 tests being administered daily.

Van Buren County added 31 recoveries this week. Last week, the county added 34. No new deaths were recorded.

In total, the county has now had 821 cases, 16 deaths and 639 recoveries.

Contact: anewman@TheHP.com, 932-0357, Twitter: @HPANewman