Joint Information Center
Monday, April 27, 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 April 27, at 2:30 PM, Calhoun County has a cumulative total of 204 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to Calhoun County Public Health Department (CCPHD), with a total of 11 deaths attributed to COVID-19 and 52 cumulative hospitalizations. 

Semi-Weekly Media Update from the CCPHD: Antibody Testing
Antibodies are a protein in the blood developed as a response to a person’s exposure to a bacteria or virus, which work to neutralize future instances of that virus/bacteria (this may create immunity). Antibody testing can be used as a tool to measure the number of antibodies to COVID-19 in a person’s blood. This information is rightfully of interest for those studying the status of community-wide immunity to COVID-19, but such testing has several limitations for how it can be used.

Antibody testing is unable to identify active, contagious instances of the disease among the population, and as such clinical decisions cannot yet be based on antibody testing alone. The results of antibody testing will be more useful to investigate illness among populations as a whole rather than to diagnose individuals. Finding instances of COVID-19 in persons before or while they are still contagious is the best way to isolate the virus and keep it from spreading. Currently, the most reliable testing method for this continues to be a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, processed from a nasal or throat swab.

“[Antibody testing] is not currently well studied and needs to be better understood before antibody testing, even if FDA authorized, can be effectively used," said CCPHD Medical Director, Dr. William Nettleton. “At this time, caution is warranted when implementing or interpreting…antibody tests for critical public health and return-to-work decision making. It is one tool in a comprehensive approach needed to interrupt disease transmission.”

As our understanding of the COVID-19 virus continues to grow, so may the ability to properly utilize antibody testing results. Several pieces of information must be studied further before antibody testing can be effectively used, including:
  • When and how long antibodies are produced in a person during COVID-19 disease
  • What antibody level, if any, confers immunity to COVID-19 disease, and for how long
  • How well any of the existing antibody tests truly detect or not detect COVID-19 antibodies

CCPHD asks those who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) to seek reliable testing by calling their healthcare provider to inquire about that facility's procedure for PCR testing. Manufacturers are selling antibody tests in some areas, but community members should be cautioned that these tests are not validated for the diagnosis of COVID-19. We simply don’t know if these tests mean immunity to COVID-19; testing positive for antibodies could also mean a person has had past infections of similar viruses to COVID-19, but not COVID-19 itself.

Calhoun County Courts
Although County buildings are closed to the public at this time, many hearings will be heard as scheduled via Zoom or other video or phone-conferencing method.

Individuals can see if a hearing is still scheduled on the Court Dockets website, then click on the appropriate Judge/Referee hearing the case. The link is,

Per Michigan Supreme Court 2020-10, all jury trials are suspended until at least June 22, 2020.

To learn more about a specific case or to file an emergency pleading or petition, please contact the appropriate court. 

Text in Church
The JOC’s Calhoun County Faith-Based Coalition has developed a great new resource for church congregants looking to stay informed while away from their places of worship.

Pastor James Sunnock of Victory Life Church and Pastor William Bell of St. Mark CME Church have started the Text-in-Church program, a new way to form discussion groups in the faith-based community and quickly share information.

The program is still developing, but is up and running. For more information on how to participate, please contact Rev. Bell at .
New Way to Support Restaurants in Battle Creek
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and continued statewide “Stay Home, State Safe” order, the City of Battle Creek’s Small Business Development (SBD) Office has launched its own online and mobile food-ordering marketplace. has an ever-expanding list of participating restaurants from which customers can order carryout and delivery. About a half-dozen restaurants are registered already, with many more in progress. Restaurants can sign up at the website to participate.

Businesses do not pay to join EatsBC; they do pay a 3.1 percent payment processing fee on transactions. The city’s SBD team developed EatsBC with the help of corePHP, and Jon Galbreath of Jonic IT Consulting.

A local Facebook group - The Carryout Club - also is helping support local restaurants across the county, allowing people to share positive experiences, menus, and more from those restaurants that are still operating.

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