Joint Information Center
Friday, April 24, 2020
Calhoun County's Joint Operations Center (JOC) will release Joint Information Center (JIC) briefings via email every Monday and Friday, as well as hold a live presentation mid-day Wednesdays.

As of 3 p.m., Friday, April 24, Calhoun County has a cumulative total of 190 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to Calhoun County Public Health Department (CCPHD), with a total of 10 deaths attributed to COVID-19 and 50 cumulative hospitalizations. 

Testing Clarification
In the April 23 Semi-Weekly Health Department Update, we stated that Governor Whitmer’s expansion of COVID-19 meant that even those with mild symptoms could now be tested without a doctor’s order. It is important to clarify that while state guidance no longer requires this documentation, each testing facility maintains their own protocols for determining their ability to test individuals. Testing facilities statewide have been tasked with testing as many people as they can while still ensuring their supply of testing materials is able to address the higher risk individuals. This may include the need for a doctor to order the test. Due to the rapidly developing response, protocols are being continually evaluated and updated to best reflect testing need versus available supplies. Residents seeking a COVID-19 test are strongly encouraged to call ahead to their preferred testing site to learn more.

Data Reporting Expanded from CCPHD
As access to COVID-19 testing continues to grow, we continue to gather data to better inform our response. It is our duty to share as much information as we can with our community. Because Calhoun County now has enough cases to provide more specific breakdowns of information without compromising personal patient privacy, CCPHD is expanding reported COVID-19 data going forward.

  • The number of persons currently hospitalized has been added. This number reflects persons who are hospitalized, at the time of reporting, in one of Calhoun’s hospital facilities. This will be updated daily Monday through Friday.
  • The number of persons who have been released by CCPHD from isolation or quarantine orders will be added. Persons held in isolation were laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 who were monitored by CCPHD staff and released in accordance with CDC guidance. Those in quarantine are people who have been in close contact with confirmed COVID-19 patients. They were similarly monitored by CCPHD staff and released in accordance with CDC guidance. Because there is not an agreed-upon definition of the term “recovered” state-wide, CCPHD believes this is the most factual way to represent the positive data related to the virus in our community. These numbers will be updated daily Monday through Friday.
  • A graph of the number of positive cases reported in Calhoun County has been added to the main alert page. This will update twice daily.

The COVID-19 dashboard from Calhoun County GIS will begin mapping laboratory-confirmed cases by zip code . It is important to keep in mind that knowing where a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case lives in the county is only one piece of the important data; where someone works, or where they may have traveled to before they were symptomatic, are likely to be outside the city or village they live in. This will be updated twice weekly.

The daily epidemic curve provided with Calhoun’s cumulative data will transition to reporting based on the onset date of a person’s symptoms, instead of the previously used referral date. CCPHD believes being able to report out based on when symptoms began is a more accurate data point than when individuals were able to seek a healthcare referral to the state’s tracking system. This will continue to be updated once daily.

Executive Order Extended
Today Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended her Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order until May 15. The new EO allows for the opening of some aspects of the economy, but the majority of sectors will continue to follow strict social distancing.

Calhoun County and City of Battle Creek Governments will extend the closure of their buildings to the public until May 15, to match Governor Whitmer's new order. While conversations have begun amongst County leaders regarding a phased approach to reopening, for now county and city buildings are closed to the public. City and County Governments, as well as the Courts, will continue to operate with critical staff and provide essential services. Residents should check government websites for information on contacting departments.

An extra public service is the reopening of the city's Binder Park Golf Course. Please practice appropriate social distancing. Only 10 people will be allowed in the clubhouse at once, and golf carts are not available.

Behavioral Health Resources
Summit Pointe continues to offer resources for all members of the community during this challenging time. Click on the flyer for information about how being proactive, staying engaged, and asking for help, are helpful ways families can get through this time successfully. The flyer also includes a number of resources for youth who are having difficulty coping during this time.
A Summit Pointe Youth Crisis Team is available to answer questions. Please call them directly at 269-441-5945. Summit Pointe also has a 24-Hour Crisis line at 1-800-632-5449. 
Like the Summit Pointe Facebook Page to stay up-to-date with tips, inspiration, and tools for staying healthy mentally during this time.

Information Regarding Food and Basic Needs Program
CareWell Services Southwest, the area agency on aging for Calhoun and Barry counties, has set new screening criteria to refocus their Food and Basic Needs Program during COVID-19, due to demand beyond its capacity.

The program’s primary mission is to help seniors avoid infection by supporting them as they shelter in place, and to support families and individuals meet their most basic needs for food, personal care and hygiene supplies.

To meet those goals, those who use the program must be:

  • Over age 60, or disabled.
  • Quarantined or isolated do to exposure, have positive coronavirus status, or be referred by a partnering organization.
  • Not reasonably able to access other food programs (pantry, school-based, food distribution sites, enhanced Bridge Card, commodities, etc.).
  • Not receiving Meals on Wheels or Congregate Take Away programs.
  • A new client to the program (one-time participation allowed).

The program provides personal care items, like shampoo, soap, and paper products; cleaning/household items like dish soap; and fresh food/staples not normally included in food boxes, like meat, bread, condiments, and basic baking supplies.

The United Way Disaster Relief Fund pays for this program. To date, this program has delivered over 100 grocery orders, totaling nearly $4,000. Volunteer shoppers are from the African American Coalition, Adventist Community Services, Communities in Schools, and the Burma Center.

For more information, or for eligibility guidance, please contact CareWell Services’ Senior Resource Call Center at 269-441-0930 from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

If you do not fit this criteria but need help, please call 211 for direction to the various community resources available.
Recent Joint Operation Center Updates
This was a busy week for the Joint Operations Center. Did you catch all of our communications this week? Everything is listed here,


For updates from Calhoun County, about County operations and COVID-19 in Calhoun County, visit the County website,

For updates from the City of Battle Creek, please visit .

The State’s COVID-19 Hotline is available for anyone who has questions or concerns related to the virus. The hotline is open seven days a week from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 1-888-535-6136. For state COVID-19 information, visit
For information, contact
Lucy Blair, Calhoun County Communications Manager

Jessica Vanderkolk, City of Battle Creek Communications Manager