Joint Information Center
Friday, May 8, 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 the State of Michigan – and Calhoun County – begin the gradual process of reopening some businesses, and restarting some activities, local leaders stress the importance of staying vigilant and following the guidance that will continue to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19.

Public health remains the top priority during this crisis. As of 4 p..m. on May 8, Calhoun County has 254 laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 63 total hospitalizations (cumulative), and 17 total deaths.

“We are optimistic in seeing a potential leveling of our curve of positive COVID-19 cases here in Calhoun County,” said Public Health Department Health Officer Eric Pessell. “However, it is critically important that Calhoun County neighbors continue to stay home as much as possible. For those local businesses starting up again, we urge compliance with the governor’s orders and guidance on items like PPE and sanitation.”

Calhoun County is working to slow the spread of the virus and increase testing. To move ahead in this process, we must have (and are working on):
  • A sustained reduction in the infection rate
  • Testing available for all who experience COVID-19 symptoms
  • Our healthcare facilities able to treat all new patients without resorting to crisis standards of care
  • Workplace protocols in place for those businesses beginning to reopen

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer this week released her full MI Safe Start Plan that will, over six phases, start to re-engage the economy across the state. The plan requires social distancing techniques, sanitation and hygiene practices, and personal protective equipment as people go back to work in industries that reopen.

Whitmer has already allowed landscaping and lawn maintenance businesses to reopen, and residential and commercial construction companies will open and begin resumed operations starting May 7, as these are outdoor, and lower-risk industries. Manufacturing can begin slowly again on Monday, May 11.

The governor said Michigan is in phase 3 of the plan – Flattening. Across the state, case growth is gradually declining and we must continue social distancing, be consistent with wearing face coverings, and continue not to gather. Read the full MI Safe Start Plan here:

“While we are encouraged that the governor has begun easing restrictions, which will help our local economy and residents, the health and well-being of our communities are the absolute top priority,” said Battle Creek City Manager Rebecca Fleury. “We do not want this gradual reopening to give false confidence – we remain in the midst of a global pandemic.”

As businesses begin to reopen, it is critical for everyone across Calhoun County to continue following the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as we remain in an active pandemic. Doing otherwise could create a second wave of positive COVID-19 cases.
  • Stay at home unless you need essential items, like groceries or medications.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Wear a mask, or other cloth face covering, whenever you are in a public place.
  • Practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from people outside your household, when you are outside your home.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw that in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects, like door knobs, light switches, and desk items.

Due to the recent Executive Order that extends the Governor's Stay Home, Stay Safe initiative, government buildings will continue to be closed to the public through May 28. Slow, phased reopening will likely begin Friday, May 29, and more information will be released about access to services. Although buildings are closed, government functions continue and there may be more essential workers required to report in person to ensure the appropriate levels of services for our residents are maintained.
Calhoun County and the State of Michigan are starting to slowly reopen the economy. Click the graphic for a larger PDF version.
COVID-19 is still in Calhoun County. Follow these tips to stay healthy. Click the graphic for a larger PDF version.
County Veterans Affairs Amends Grant Dollars To Increase Assistance
Calhoun County Veterans Affairs amended the use of over $48,000 in its County Veteran Service Fund grant to accommodate veterans who have financial hardship at this time due to COVID-19. That amendment was recently approved by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, and the dollars will be added to the office's Veterans Relief Fund (VRF). County veterans can apply for VRF monies for financial hardship, and the Calhoun County Veterans Affairs Committee assesses these requests. This adjustment ensures that there is additional money to assist veterans at this time. The best method to apply for these funds is to call the Calhoun County VA Office at 269-969-6734. The office is currently closed to the public, but operations continue via phone and email.

C&C Landfill Recycling Passes Available Online
Free recycling is available for Calhoun County residents at the C&C Landfill located in Convis Township. Residents must have a pass to recycle for free, otherwise each load costs $4. Before COVID-19, residents had to pick up a recycling pass from their township office. That access was reduced with the Stay Home orders.

To provide these passes to residents during this time, while recycling centers are closed, a form is available on the Calhoun County Recycling website . Residents can fill out the form requesting a recycling pass for the C&C Landfill, and one will be sent to their home.

With the pass, residents can visit the C&C Landfill during open hours, check in at the office and submit the pass for recording, and then recycle in the appropriate containers nearby. The landfill is located at 14800 P Drive N, Marshall, Michigan. The center is open 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. Saturday hours are suspended during the pandemic.

Fill out the form and receive a pass by clicking on "C&C Landfill Program" from the Recycling website,
Mask Brigade Collects Masks for Area Seniors
To assist in collecting masks for Calhoun County seniors, volunteers are asked to help the Mask Brigade. After the Governor's executive order requiring residents to wear face masks in enclosed public spaces, service organizations countywide are collecting fabric masks specifically for seniors, to ensure they have the personal protection equipment needed when they leave their homes. The Mask Brigade has multiple ways to help: Kits are available that have all materials and instructions necessary to make 25 masks; patterns are available for people who have supplies on hand, and finished masks can be dropped off at the Kool Center in Battle Creek. Click on the flyer for more information about how you can help.

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