Health Department, Spectrum Health Lakeland Give COVID-19 Update

As of Friday afternoon, there were still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Berrien County, but that is expected to change. In a livestream on Friday, Spectrum Health Lakeland President Loren Hamel said there is strong demand for tests right now.

“At this point, there is so little testing capacity around the country, so there are now laboratories that are taking days to turn around those tests, and we are at risk of running out of supplies,” Hamel said. “So it is really, really important. Call first.”

Only those showing the symptoms of COVID-19 are currently getting tested in Berrien County.

“We need to make sure that those tests are for the sickest of the sick right now until we get more media, until we get more swabs, and until we get more reagents to do those tests ourselves,” Hamel said.

Berrien County Health Officer Nicki Britten said there are bugs other than coronavirus going around. For instance, the flu.

“Just having symptoms of a respiratory infection does not necessarily mean that you have COVID-19, and to Dr. Hamel’s point,  does not necessarily mean that you need to be tested for COVID-19,” Britten said.

Hamel said Spectrum Health has made some changes at its facilities people will notice if they go there. Only a few doors are open, and every patient, visitor, and employee is being screened for COVID-19. You can find out about getting a virtual screening for COVID-19 right here.