COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien County reports two new COVID-19 deaths

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — Berrien County has reported two new COVID-19 related deaths, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

As of Thursday, Berrien County reported 3,769 COVID-19 cases and 95 related deaths. That number is up from 93 deaths reported Wednesday.

Nearby Cass County reported 1,361 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 26 deaths.

Van Buren County reported 1,670 cases and 21 deaths.

Berrien County has reported 1,881 recoveries over the past 30 days, according to the Berrien County Health Department.

Cass County has reported 583 recoveries, and Van Buren County has reported 713 recoveries, according to the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department.

During a press conference Thursday afternoon, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic. Announcing the state to be in the “second wave” of the pandemic, Whitmer said case numbers are skyrocketing and hospitals are becoming overwhelmed.

To contain the spread of the virus, Whitmer encouraged the public to follow public health guidelines of wearing masks, washing hands frequently, avoiding large gatherings and limit contact with individuals outside of one’s immediate household.

“Sadly, COVID-19 is not done with us yet,” she said. “It doesn’t care if we are tired of it or if we are angry or weary. This enemy is relentless, and now the second wave of COVID is hitting us and it’s hitting us hard. … We are in the worst part of this pandemic to date.”

Holidays were a hot topic of the address, with Whitmer and state health officials encouraging residents not to travel for Thanksgiving or gather with individuals outside of their household for the holiday.

“Thanksgiving is going to look different this year; it just has to,” Whitmer said. “Medical experts across the county have strongly recommended that we do not host Thanksgiving with people from outside of our own households. I know this will be hard, but we cannot afford for people to head to a family member, friend or loved one’s house for Thanksgiving, contract the virus and bring it back to their communities and bring it back to their communities and homes.”

In total, Michigan has seen 236,225 COVID-19 cases and 7,811 related deaths.

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