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BENTON TOWNSHIP — Berrien County again recorded the most new COVID-19 cases this week since the start of the pandemic in March.

The county recorded 1,066 cases this week, compared to 795 last week and 465 the week before that.

That means the county averaged about 152 new cases a day this week.

In addition, Berrien County recorded five new COVID-19 deaths this week. This brings the county’s death toll to 99. The state has 102 deaths listed for the county, which can be attributed to vital record reviews this week. Berrien County does its own verification before adding those deaths to its total.

The county added 249 recoveries this week, bringing the total number of recoveries in the county to 2,168.

That means there are still about 2,700 people in the community who are actively sick with the virus. The county is now considering someone recovered if they have had a confirmed COVID-19 test result and are alive 30 days after referral. The number of recoveries in mid-December should be very high.

In total, since March, the county has recorded 4,967 confirmed cases and 438 presumed cases. That’s an addition of 26 presumed cases since last Friday.

Berrien County’s percent positivity was at about 21 percent this week, meaning about one in five tests was positive. According to the state about 1,100 tests are being administered each day in the county.

Hospitalizations at Spectrum Health Lakeland averaged about 55 each day this week. That’s also the highest weekly average since the start of the pandemic.

Van Buren/Cass

The spread of COVID-19 continued to be elevated, but not expanding as fast, this week in Van Buren and Cass counties.

Van Buren County recorded 427 new COVID-19 cases for the week. That’s compared to about 400 last week and 224 the week before that.

Cass County added 187 new cases this week. That’s compared to 293 last week and 146 the week before.

Van Buren recorded six COVID-19 deaths this week, while Cass County had two.

In total, since March, Van Buren County has recorded 29 deaths and 2,132 cases, and Cass County has recorded 28 deaths and 1,702 cases.

Cass County had about a 16 percent positivity rate as of Monday, while Van Buren County’s was at about 15 percent.

Recovery totals in Van Buren and Cass counties have stalled, as the health department did not update them this week. The numbers from last week, and more Van Buren and Cass county COVID-19 information can be found at https://vbcassdhd.org/covid-19.

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