Health Huddle – COVID Updates

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

Berrien County, MI – January 13, 2022

No relief in sight as COVID-19 numbers remain high:

Spectrum Health Lakeland continues to hit record numbers in the ongoing COVID-19 surge. We are encountering more hospitalized patients, more ICU patients, more ventilator usage than ever in our history, and our emergency department wait times have never been longer.
“86% of admissions are friends and neighbors that have not been vaccinated. Right now, 100% of our ICU admissions at Lakeland are for individuals that are not vaccinated,” said Loren B. Hamel, MD, president, Spectrum Health Lakeland. “It absolutely decreases your risk of hospitalization and dramatically decreases your risk for ICU admission, for ventilation, and for death if you’ve been vaccinated.” Hear more from Dr. Hamel and Berrien County Health Department medical director, Rex Cabaltica, MD, as they share the latest COVID-19 headlines in Berrien County in this video.

Dr. Hamel presents a COVID-19 Update for Berrien County, Photo provided by Spectrum Health Lakeland
Spectrum Health COVID-19 Hospitalizations infographic, Photo provided by Spectrum Health Lakeland
Note: Data above includes pediatric and adult COVID-19 positive inpatients across all Spectrum Health hospitals.

Pfizer boosters now available for individuals 12 years and older:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expands Pfizer booster recommendations for individuals 12 years and older. Children in this age group are eligible for a booster if they have received a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination at least five months after their initial series.
Those 18 years and older who received a Moderna COVID-19 vaccination (five months after their initial series) are also eligible for a booster shot, as well as individuals who received a J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least two months ago.
Parents with children ages five through 11 can also schedule an initial COVID-19 vaccination appointment through the Berrien County Health Department or at select pediatric offices through Lakeland .
Schedule a COVID-19 vaccination or booster

COVID-19 testing during hospital red status:

If you are symptomatic and in need of a COVID-19 test, first contact your local primary care provider to obtain a doctor’s order. This will allow you to schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 test.
If you do not have a provider, COVID-19 testing is reserved for symptomatic patients at all three of Lakeland’s walk-in clinics (Niles, Stevensville, and Watervliet). An appointment is not needed for these locations and results will post to your MyChart account in 24 to 48 hours. Rapid testing is reserved for patients who may need antibody treatment, are a candidate for the COVID at home program, or who may have very severe symptoms, making a diagnosis and treatment a high priority. For more information about walk-in clinic locations and hours,click here.
Our emergency departments and walk-in clinics continue to see significantly high patient volumes, resulting in long wait times. Care is prioritized by severity of condition and COVID-19 testing will only be ordered for patients who are symptomatic.
To view a complete list of additional testing sites in Berrien County, click here.
View list of COVID-19 testing locations

Omicron variant causing more case of croup in kids:

There are concerns about how COVID-19, specifically the omicron variant, impacts young kids. Doctors in West Michigan are seeing more cases of kids who have tested positive for COVID-19 showing symptoms of croup. Dr. Erica Michiels with Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital said she has seen croup symptoms in kids with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. Still, the considerable surge in West Michigan is making these cases a lot more common. Read more

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.

About Spectrum Health Lakeland: Our mission is to intentionally foster an environment where optimal health is achievable for everyone. Our vision is a thriving, resilient, and socially cohesive community. Join us in our efforts to build a healthier community! Learn more at

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