Coronavirus - web only

ST. JOSEPH — Those seeking a COVID-19 test at any Spectrum Health Lakeland facility will now have to meet new symptom criteria.

Testing is now reserved for patients with one major symptom (fever, cough, shortness of breath) or two minor symptoms (loss of taste/smell, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea).

The change is due to “increasing demand for COVID-19 testing and a nationwide shortage of supplies,” according to a news release issued Wednesday.

“The modifications ensure that those who are most in need can quickly and easily get tested,” hospital officials wrote in the release.

Other area testing sites will still test those without symptoms. Visit www.bchdmi.org or www.michigan.gov/coronavirus to find a testing site.

At Lakeland, before a COVID-19 diagnostic test can be performed, patients must complete a screening and obtain a doctor’s order from their primary care provider. If patients do not have a primary care provider, they can call the free hotline at 1-833-559-0659.

Once the order is acquired, a test may be scheduled by calling 927-5100. No walk-in or drive-up testing is available without an appointment.

“Spectrum Health Lakeland regularly assesses the testing criteria for our patients to ensure we reserve enough tests for symptomatic patients,” Joe Brown, laboratory director for Spectrum Health Lakeland, said in the release. “As the demand for COVID-19 tests decreases, we will be able to widen the opportunities for people to get a COVID-19 test.”

For more information, visit spectrumhealthlakeland.org/covid19.

Updated numbers

Spectrum Health Lakeland had 59 COVID-positive patients who had been admitted, as of Wednesday morning. That’s up from 56 on Tuesday and 47 last Wednesday.

Berrien County recorded an additional 123 COVID-19 cases Wednesday.

In the last seven days, the county has been averaging about 149 new cases a day.

The county also recorded 11 presumed COVID cases on Wednesday. No new deaths were reported.

In addition, 55 new recoveries were reported. This brings the number of active cases in the county to about 2,484.

Cass County recorded 20 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, while Van Buren County recorded 50. No new deaths were recorded in either county.

Bronson limits visitors

Starting today, Bronson Healthcare will not allow visitors at its hospitals, such as the facility in South Haven, except under certain circumstances.

The updated visitor policy is due to the rise of COVID-19 cases and can be found at bronsonhealth.com.

“Implementing these changes helps ensure we are doing everything we can to protect our staff, patients and the community. We know this is difficult for patients and families, but it is necessary at this time. We will continue to actively monitor the situation with a goal of reinstating expanded visitation as soon as it is safe to do so,” hospital officials wrote in a news release.

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