BENTON TOWNSHIP — The percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive is on the rise in Berrien County.

The Berrien County Health Department (BCHD) reported Friday that this increase indicates “a true increase in viral activity.”

As of Wednesday, about 4.7 percent of the county’s COVID-19 tests were coming back positive. That’s out of about 631 tests being administered daily.

On Monday, the county had about 4 percent of its tests coming back positive.

In addition, the BCHD reported Friday that there’s an increase of asymptomatic people testing positive, as well as an increase in new cases among adults under the age of 40.

The county recorded about 120 new COVID-19 cases since last Friday. The previous week the county had gained 93 cases, and the week before that about 80.

Berrien County hasn’t seen more than 100 new cases in a week since May.

The county’s cumulative case count is now up to 1,029, while its recoveries are at 825.

Berrien County gained about 108 recoveries over the last week. The previous week the county gained just 26.

The county is up to about 141 active COVID-19 cases, up from about 132 last Friday.

Spectrum Health Lakeland remains under surge capacity, treating 14 COVID-19 patients as of Friday morning, three more than on Thursday and three more than last Friday.

Two of Berrien County’s three COVID-19 deaths this week were residents of Chalet of Niles Nursing and Rehab Center, according to the state’s long-term care facility data. There are now 17 residents and 17 staff members there that have tested positive for COVID-19.

Cass County now has two of its COVID-19 deaths linked to the Cass County Medical Care Facility, where 15 residents and 13 staff members have had the virus.

Van Buren County still just has staff members at its long-term care facilities with the virus. It has not spread to residents.

Van Buren/Cass

As with Berrien County, Van Buren and Cass county’s test positivity rates are also increasing.

Van Buren County had about 4.1 percent of its tests coming back positive as of Wednesday, up from 2.8 percent on Monday.

Cass County saw about 5.1 percent of its tests coming back positive as of Wednesday, up from 3.5 percent on Monday.

The Van Buren Cass District Health Department released its weekly total of recovered individuals Friday.

There are now 125 people recovered in Cass County and 192 recovered in Van Buren County.

Cass County gained 21 recoveries since last week, while also gaining 34 new cases and one death.

The county gained about the same number of new cases as it did the week before, unlike Van Buren County, which almost doubled its weekly number of new cases.

Van Buren County gained 46 new cases since last Friday, while the previous week it gained just 21.

During the same time, the county gained seven COVID-19 recoveries and one death.

There are now about 102 active COVID-19 cases in Van Buren County and 98 active cases in Cass County.

Contact:, 932-0357, Twitter: @HPANewman