Coronavirus - web only

After a slight rise in COVID-19 cases last week, Berrien County saw a plateau this week.

The county has recorded 344 new cases since last Friday. That’s compared to 389 cases last week, and 277 cases the week before.

During the same period, the county added 561 new recoveries.

Deaths decreased this week, with just three confirmed and two presumed being reported. That’s down from 11 deaths last week and 13 deaths the week prior.

With the deaths and the recoveries, the county is at about 1,410 active cases. That’s down from 1,630 last Friday and 2,094 the Friday before that.

In total, since the start of the pandemic, Berrien County has recorded 9,480 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 7,884 recoveries, 186 confirmed deaths, 17 probable deaths, and 745 presumed COVID-19 cases. That’s an additional 31 presumed cases over last Friday.

COVID hospitalizations at Spectrum Health Lakeland averaged at 41 patients a day this week, with 46 being admitted as of Friday morning. That’s right around the 44 patient average the hospital has had the last two weeks.

Berrien County’s percent positivity rate remains around 8-10 percent, while Cass and Van Buren County’s are more between 12 and 14 percent.

Van Buren/Cass

New cases have also plateaued in Van Buren and Cass counties.

Cass County recorded 146 new COVID-19 cases this week and three new deaths. Van Buren County recorded 150 new cases and five new deaths.

In total, since the start of the pandemic, Cass County has recorded 3,224 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 51 deaths.

Van Buren County has recorded 4,257 cases and 80 deaths.

Vaccine update

The Van Buren/Cass District Health Department (VBCDHD) noted in a COVID-19 newsletter Friday that they are still working to vaccinate people in Phase 1A and intend to open up opportunities as they receive more supply of the vaccine.

VBCDHD officials noted the health department is receiving more than 500 calls a day.

“Our team is working diligently to get back to everyone and recruiting additional support, but it may take 7 or more days to receive a return phone call or not at all. The ‘I want a COVID-19 Vaccine!’ sign-up list is the most direct and timely way to receive status updates from us for your specific priority group,” it wrote in the newsletter update.

The signup list is available at https://vbcassdhd.org/covid-19-vaccine.

The VBCDHD is also encouraging people to keep an eye on information from their health care provider and pharmacy for when waitlists through those entities might be open.

As of Wednesday, about 562 doses of vaccine had been administered in Cass County, and 2,561 doses had been administered in Van Buren County, according to the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard.

Berrien County has given out about 4,393 doses of vaccine, with about 335 of those being a second dose.

Local health officials said Friday that the state’s vaccine dashboard is a few days behind in its reporting, but gives a rough picture of local vaccination efforts.

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