Joint Information Center
Friday, May 15, 2020
As of May 15, at 11:00 AM, Calhoun County has a cumulative total of 290 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to Calhoun County Public Health Department (CCPHD), with a total of 18 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

Calhoun County's Phased Reopening
There is a lot we don't know about the future of the novel coronavirus, but Calhoun County is committed to reopening to the public safely. A COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan has been implemented and will be adopted by both Calhoun County and City of Battle Creek Governments, based on guidance from the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority. This plan provides documents measures the County and City have taken to ensure protection for the public and our employees as we reengage in-person critical workers. It also includes procedures for appropriate actions when we experience suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases, along with attached printable signage, screening forms and other best practice references. We encourage local governments in Calhoun County, such as townships or villages, to use any parts of these plans that are helpful in the reopening of their facilities and operations.

Calhoun County Government's Preparedness and Response Plan is on the County website and is submitted for approval by the Board of Commissioners at next week's meeting. This plan will be adapted and updated on the website as we continue with reopening phases.
Currently, we are in PHASE 3: Flattening
Calhoun County is following the phases as referenced by the State of Michigan, with parallel guidance from the Michigan Supreme Court and input from our Local Health Department, to ensure that all government operations reopen sensibly. While in phase three, this means buildings are closed to the public, appointments are required for many essential services, and visitors and employees should wear face coverings in public spaces and maintain six feet of social distancing. 

Additional information about what each phase means generally for government buildings and operations can be found on the County's Safe Start website

Calhoun County's progress toward full reopening and operations is being coordinated with the Calhoun County Public Health Department, which will monitor the state's recommended gating criteria for each phase and certify when the county is ready to move from one phase to another. 

New Informational Programs on AccessVision
Two new COVID-19-related programs are airing now on AccessVision.

Hear from Summit Pointe about mental health topics and resources to help our community through this public health crisis. This 20-minute program is airing at the top of each hour – outside of regular programming – and is available on demand at .

More than a dozen Calhoun County youth gathered on a Zoom call to talk about how the pandemic has affected them. You can watch this hour-long city Keeping You Informed special, hosted by City Commissioner Lynn Ward Gray, online at , and on-air at the following times: 
  • 6 p.m. Sunday, May 17
  • Noon Friday, May 22
  • 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 27
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, May 30

Watch AccessVision on Comcast 17/917, AT&T 99, and at the Live 17 tab at .

Previous programs from the Joint Operations Center are available online:
Translated and Interpreted Materials Available
Check out the city’s website – – for the latest information translated and interpreted into American Sign Language, Burmese, and Spanish.

There are informational graphics available in English and Spanish outlining the governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order and social distancing requirements, a variety of videos, and news from the Joint Operations Center. 

At the website, scroll past the graphics to find the language tabs. Looking for additional information? Contact City of Battle Creek Communications Manager Jessica VanderKolk at .

Additionally, collaboration between the CCPHD, Grace Health, and the Burma Center continues work on providing more detailed video explanations of COVID-19 topics like testing and self-isolation in multiple Burmese dialects. As these materials are created, they will be shared on social media and available via a playlist on the Calhoun County’s Youtube account .
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Resources
Summit Pointe is continually evaluating how to best support our community. This past week, information was released regarding returning to work. The document provides guidance for employees and employers as we look at returning to a "new normal." Tips for employees include, 
  • Pay attention to your physical health and needs
  • Build and maintain social networks
  • Know your rights

Tips for employers include, 
  • Make the work environment welcoming
  • Communicate with employees
  • Seek training in mental health first aid
  • Consider policy changes to meet health needs of your staff

Chamber Seeks to Tie Community Together
The Battle Creek Area Chamber of Commerce is starting an initiative to tie our community together. Businesses participate by receiving two pieces of ribbon and a door sign, then take a video or picture of tying the two pieces of ribbon together. Using the hashtag #TyingOurCommunityTogetherBC, the Chamber will compile all the photos together on Facebook. To participate, call or email the Battle Creek Area Chamber of Commerce at 269-962-4076 or


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