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An employee with the Berrien County Health Department prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

BENTON TOWNSHIP — Another estimated 2 percent of Berrien County’s population got their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine this week.

That’s now nearly 12 percent of county residents who have received first doses.

As of Thursday, the county had given 24,259 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with about 5,989 of those being second doses, according to state figures. That equates to nearly 4 percent that are fully vaccinated.

Berrien County providers administered an additional 5,938 doses of vaccine this week over last Thursday. The previous week the county had given about 5,306 doses, and the week before that, about 4,675 doses.

The Berrien County Health Department (BCHD) was able to vaccinate over 900 educators and school staff this week in the southern part of the county at a large clinic held at Niles High School, according to the health department’s vaccine newsletter.

As vaccination efforts continue to increase each week, new COVID-19 cases have continued on a steady downward trend.

Berrien County recorded about 142 new COVID-19 cases this week. That’s compared to 207 cases last week and 260 cases the week before.

The case total is approximate using state figures for Friday’s tally, as the BCHD did not update its COVID-19 data dashboard as of press time.

As of Thursday, the county had recorded 307 new recoveries since last Friday.

The county had also recorded, as of Thursday, seven additional confirmed COVID-19 deaths and one probable death since last Friday. Last week, the county had recorded just one new COVID-19 death.

COVID-19 hospitalizations at Spectrum Health Lakeland stayed steady again this week at an average of about 19 patients a day. Last week, patient’s averaged about 20 a day, and the week before that, 22 a day.

In total, since the start of the pandemic, Berrien County has recorded 10,382 COVID-19 cases.

Van Buren/Cass

New COVID-19 cases in Van Buren and Cass counties saw a significant drop this week, compared to steady numbers the last few weeks.

Van Buren County recorded 63 new COVID-19 cases this week and one additional death. Last week the county had recorded 93 new cases and two deaths.

Cass County recorded 39 new COVID-19 cases this week and one new death. Last week the county had recorded 67 new cases and no deaths.

In total, Van Buren County has recorded 4,610 COVID-19 cases and 84 deaths. Cass County has recorded 3,488 COVID-19 cases and 54 deaths.

Van Buren and Cass counties got about another 2 percent of their populations their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine this week as well.

About 9 percent of Van Buren County’s estimated population has now received its first dose.

The county has administered 9,773 doses of vaccine as of Thursday, with about 2,481 of those being second doses. That’s an additional 2,298 doses over last Thursday. That’s up from the previous week when the county had administered about 1,727 doses.

About 5 percent of Cass County’s estimated population has now received a first dose.

The county has administered 3,244 doses of vaccine as of Thursday, with about 605 of those being second doses. That’s an additional 1,168 doses over last Thursday. That’s up significantly from the previous week when the county had administered about 551 doses.

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