Joint Information Center
Monday, April 13, 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 11:30 a.m., Monday, April 13, Calhoun County Public Health Department reports 83 positive cases and the County's second COVID-19 related death.

Starting today, how data is presented on the Calhoun County website has changed. With our increased number of laboratory confirmed positive cases, we are able to share additional breakdowns of information without compromising individual patient confidentiality. Therefore, o n the alert page , Calhoun County's COVID-19 positive cases, number of hospitalizations, and deaths are listed. On a subsequent cumulative data page , demographic data is broken down by age, sex, and race, and an epidemiological curve is included. This information will be updated daily.


Calhoun County Public Health Department Semi-Weekly Media Update
Health Officials Urge Commitment to Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order

Calhoun County Public Health Department (CCPHD) is saddened to announce the second death in the health department’s jurisdiction attributed to COVID-19. The individual was a middle-aged adult with underlying medical conditions who passed away Sunday. This death brings the cumulative fatality total to two (2) in Calhoun County due to COVID-19.

As COVID-19 continues to interrupt our lives in unprecedented ways, we acknowledge the frustrations and anxieties Calhoun’s population is experiencing. With last Thursday’s extension of Governor Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order (EO-20-42), CCPHD urges Calhoun to remember the reason for the order: to slow the spread of COVID-19 through our communities enough that our healthcare system can handle this crisis without having to resort to crisis standards of care.

“We are still in the first phase of our multi-phase response to COVID-19,” explained CCPHD Health Officer, Eric Pessell. “The goal of this first phase is saving lives. To be effective, we must ALL do this by following CDC guidance and executive orders. We must refuse to give the virus opportunities to spread from person to person.”

With the arrival of mostly spring-like weather, many in our communities have looked to utilize this time for home improvement projects and gardening. If you have the supplies on hand, this is a great way to stay active, but remember these materials are not considered essential needs that warrant a trip to the store. CCPHD cautions the community to stick to necessities when going out: groceries, needed medical care, and prescriptions. Every shopping trip needs to be seen for what it is: an opportunity for the virus to spread. 

Data on available resources in Calhoun County can offer us projections of the weeks to follow. CCPHD anticipates a continued rise in our confirmed cases of COVID-19. With adherence to Governor Whitmer’s Stay Home executive order, it is believed our healthcare resources can stay within their limits. With a poor adherence to this order, Calhoun County is projected to hit our healthcare capacities in mid-May. This change will require a switch to “crisis standards of care” meaning usual healthcare operations transition to prioritizing the health of the community as a whole over the health of each individual. This is when hospitals begin to run out of resources and must use a different protocol to save lives, because they simply can't save every one. We have seen this threshold break elsewhere in the world, as close to home as Detroit, and we each can do our part to avoid it by taking the actions needed (staying home, washing your hands, social distancing by keeping 6’ apart from others, and wearing a cloth face covering when you must go out).

“Right now we think Calhoun’s response to following guidance falls somewhere in the middle of those two projections [strict vs. poor adherence],” Pessell said. “It is hard to change your way of life so drastically, so quickly. But relaxing now leads to overwhelming our healthcare system’s capacity. This has to be a priority; please help by doing your part to continuing to slow the spread.”
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For updates from Calhoun County, about County operations and COVID-19 in Calhoun County, visit the County website,  calhouncountymi.gov.

For updates from the City of Battle Creek, please visit  battlecreekmi.gov/coronavirus .

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  michigan.gov/coronavirus.
For information, contact
Lucy Blair, Calhoun County Communications Manager
269-781-0926,  lblair@calhouncountymi.gov

Jessica Vanderkolk, City of Battle Creek Communications Manager