Inform, Entertain, Inspire
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

COVID-19 Variant Cases Emerge And Hospitalizations Rise In Berrien Co.

Captured via Facebook Live

Berrien County health officials say the county’s increase in COVID-19 cases hasn’t been as steep as in other areas of Michigan – but they say cases are once again on the rise. 

County Health Officer Nicki Britten said the rise could be partly attributed to the presence of more contagious variants in the county. She said Berrien County has had 12 confirmed cases of the U.K. variant so far.


Hospitalizations in the county are also rising, especially among younger people. Dr. Loren Hamel, president of Spectrum Health Lakeland, said the average age of individuals admitted to Lakeland is about 10 years younger now than it was just a few weeks ago. 


“We’ve admitted children," he said. "We have folks less than 30 on ventilators in the ICU. We have more in their forties and fifties.”


But, Hamel said that’s also evidence of the vaccine’s success. He said hospitals would be inundated with elderly patients by now if most of them hadn’t received a vaccine.


Britten said Berrien County is expecting more vaccine doses in the coming week. She and Hamel both encouraged county residents age 16 and up to make an appointment as soon as they can.


Contact Gemma atgdicarlo@wvpe.orgor follow her on Twitter at@gemma_dicarlo.


If you appreciate this kind of journalism on your local NPR station, please support it by donatinghere. 

Gemma DiCarlo came to Indiana by way of Athens, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and certificates in New Media and Sustainability. She has radio experience from her time as associate producer of Athens News Matters, the flagship public affairs program at WUGA-FM.
Related Content