Health Huddle – COVID Updates

Spectrum Health Lakeland – COVID-19 Response : Keeping You Informed

Berrien County, MI – November 11, 2021

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations continue to rise in Berrien County:

For the fifth straight week we’ve seen an increase in our overall COVID-19 inpatient census at Spectrum Health Lakeland hospitals. Currently, Berrien County has a 15.66% positivity rate, which places Berrien County in the “high community transmission” category.

“Masking, vaccination rates, social distancing, and public activity all seem to be at static levels and we don’t anticipate any change to these dynamics in either direction,” said Loren B. Hamel, MD, president, Spectrum Health Lakeland. “So, the most likely scenario is that our COVID-19 testing, presentation, admission, and length of stay all remain relatively the same for the foreseeable future.”

Hear more from Dr. Hamel and Berrien County Health Department Medical Director, Dr. Rex Cabaltica, as they share the latest COVID-19 updates in Berrien County in the video HERE.

Link to video HERE
Understanding COVID-19 booster options:

Individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine may now be eligible for a booster shot six months or more after their initial series. Booster shots are recommended for people who are:

  • 65 years and older
  • Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
  • Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
  • Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings

You may choose which COVID-19 vaccine you receive as a booster shot. Both Lakeland and the Berrien County Health Department are accepting walk ins for Moderna and Pfizer boosters (as well as first doses) or you can schedule an appointment online. The health department is also offering J&J doses at their clinic locations. (Schedule link HERE)

COVID-19 vaccines for ages five to 11:

We are working quickly to plan and operationalize COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages five to 11. More information on scheduling and availability at Lakeland will be shared in the coming days. Parents interested in getting their children vaccinated can currently schedule online with the Berrien County Health Department, or visit to find a location.

Emergency department continues to see high volumes:

Emergency department volumes and inpatient admissions remain at historically high levels, which tells us patients who are arriving at the hospital are sicker and need our care. With longer wait times continuing in the emergency department, it is important to seek the right type of care for your condition:

  • For non-urgent health care matters, the best place to start is by contacting your primary care provider. Spectrum Health Lakeland walk-in clinics are also available for illnesses that cannot wait until the next business day, but may not require the full resources of a hospital emergency department.
  • For life-threatening conditions and medical emergencies, call 9-1-1 or go directly to the emergency department. These may include chest pain, severe shortness of breath, uncontrollable bleeding, a head injury or broken bone, poisoning or suspected overdose, and other serious issues.

Continue to stay up to date with the latest community news and information by following Berrien County Health Department and Spectrum Health Lakeland on Facebook.

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