Berrien County Officals Continue to Prepare for Possible Coronavirus Outbreak

Mar 11, 2020


Credit Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

The state of Michigan has confirmed two cases of COVID-19 in Metro Detroit. Michiana organizations are continuing to prepare for the possibility of a local outbreak.

No major closures have happened in Southwest Michigan yet. But health officials are saying local businesses are restricting non-essential international and domestic travel. The health department says individuals should do the same.

Berrien County Health Department Spokesperson Gillian Conrad says they are still working with the state to figure out when closures should happen. 

“We are working closely with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to have better definitions around what those thresholds might be for us to take certain actions like quarantining individuals or putting social distancing measures in place, closing or cancelling events or organizations.”

Conrad says they’re not recommending closures at this time. She says they do recommend all organizations, families and individuals work out a plan for what might happen if social distancing measures are needed.

Anyone who suspects they may have COVID-19 or been in contact with someone who has is asked to call their health care provider or hospital before showing up.


“They can assess those symptoms over the phone with you before coming in to the office, before going to a crowded clinic or ER and that way you’re not risking exposing anybody else,” Conrad said.

Conrad said hand washing, sanitizing and other hygiene measures are crucial to slowing the spread.

Spectrum Health has also set up a hotline for anyone in Michigan experiencing symptoms to be evaluated over the phone. That number is 616-391-2380.