Berrien County Health Department

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Berrien County health officials say they’re working to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine equitably throughout the county.

At the county's COVID-19 update on Thursday, County Health Officer Nicki Britten said both the health department and Spectrum Health Lakeland are working to form partnerships that will help get the vaccine to underserved populations.

 

Berrien County Health Department logo

The Berrien County Health Department will postpone all vaccine appointments scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 23. Those appointments have been rescheduled for Monday, March 1.

(Read the full release from the health department below.)

Screenshot captured via Facebook

Berrien County health officials are urging residents to be diligent about following COVID-19 safety protocols after the more contagious UK strain of the virus was identified in neighboring Van Buren County earlier this week.

County Health Officer Nicki Britten said while the county’s new daily case count and hospitalizations continue to decline, the variant could drive those numbers back up if residents aren’t careful about masking and social distancing.

 

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At their weekly COVID-19 update, Berrien County health officials once again asked for patience as they work to vaccinate the nearly 40,000 county residents who are currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. 

County Health Officer Nicki Britten said the county’s vaccine allotment is based 75 percent on its population of adults age 65 and older, and 25 percent on its population of essential workers. 

 

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Berrien County Health Officials gave their weekly update on the county’s COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, Jan. 14.

Berrien County Health Officer Nicki Britten said after a period of decline, new daily cases have begun to creep up, and new hospitalizations have plateaued.

 

“It’s hard to say whether that means we’re on a true upward trajectory, but this is a really important reminder that these numbers are fragile,” Britten said.

 

BCHD

The Berrien County Health Department and Spectrum Health Lakeland will partner to move forward with the next phase of Michigan’s COVID-19 vaccination. Limited appointments are now available for those over age 65 and for certain groups of essential workers. 

 

Since the vaccine supply is still limited, the health department and Spectrum Lakeland will schedule appointments using cross-referenced waiting lists of people who have already expressed interest in getting the vaccine. 

 

(Provided by IU Health)

The end of 2020 brought the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to our area, and a full public vaccination campaign is expected for this summer. However, health officials say the beginning of the vaccination campaign doesn’t mean the end of COVID-19 safety protocols.

At the county's COVID-19 update on Dec. 30, Berrien County Health Officer Nicki Britten said we’re entering a “messy period,” where people need to continue masking and distancing even if they’ve been fully or partially vaccinated.

 

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Berrien County health officials say Phase 1A of the county’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign – which includes healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents and staff – is well underway.

Spectrum Health Lakeland President Dr. Loren Hamel said over the last two weeks, about 20 percent of the Lakeland staff has received a first dose of the vaccine.

 

Captured via Facebook Live

Berrien County health officials offered their weekly update on the COVID-19 pandemic on Dec. 11.

County Health Officer Nicki Britten says the county is seeing an average of 120 new cases per day, or 10 times more daily cases than at the end of September. But, she said new cases and hospitalizations are beginning to slow, a trend she called “encouraging.”

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

Over the last month, the 7-day average of COVID-19 cases in Berrien County has jumped nearly fivefold, from about 16 per week to almost 77. That increase has led the health department to ask certain groups to conduct their own contact tracing.