Joint Information Center
Thursday, Sept. 10
As of 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10, Calhoun County has a cumulative total of 992 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to Calhoun County Public Health Department (CCPHD), with a total of 43 deaths attributed to the virus. This information is updated once daily, Monday through Friday, at

A recent surge in cases has resulted in an increase in our test positivity rate, which is a data point the Calhoun County Unified Command Team monitors biweekly. From Aug. 25-Sept. 7, the 14-day average test positivity rate was 4.0%. In the 14 days prior to that, the 14-day average was 2.2%.

"We are monitoring this situation closely," said Kelli Scott, a member of the Unified Command Team and Administrator/Controller for Calhoun County. "We urge all Calhoun County residents to continue practicing smart social distancing and avoid indoor gatherings of over 10 people as much as possible, while infection increases in our community."

This latest surge in Calhoun is due in large part to outbreaks, or clusters of cases that have a single origin. Nearly 40% of cases referred to CCPHD between Aug. 25 and Sept. 8 are associated with an outbreak. Those outbreaks include religious services, family gatherings like parties and weddings, food establishments, and workplaces. Cases referred in the last few days are still being investigated.

Due to this latest surge and to increase overall COVID-19 awareness, the Joint Operations Center is reintroducing a live, virtual Joint Information Center Briefing, which will take place next week on Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 1 p.m.  Media and local elected officials are invited to that briefing, and slides will be made available afterward on the County Alert Page and the City of Battle Creek's COVID-19 page.

Back to School
The CCPHD continues to work with local school districts, meeting weekly with superintendents about their plans and to answer questions. Our schools have good information about the pandemic, so families can feel secure reaching out to their schools about the latest information going into their learning plans.

When a school community sees a positive case of COVID-19, the CCPHD uses contact tracing to identify people close to that person, to let them know they may have been exposed.

CCPHD staff reminds the community that there is no such thing as “zero risk,” but following the social distancing, mask wearing, and hand washing guidelines will help prevent the spread of the virus.

Springfield Municipal Update
Terry Blaniar, currently the City of Springfield Director of Public Works, will serve as interim City Manager starting at the close of business this Friday, Sept. 11. Current City Manager Kevin Catlin will move on to the County Administrator position in Boone County, Illinois. Contact Blaniar at 269-441-9277 or

Mindfulness, Stress Management, and Self Care Tips for Kids
From Summit Pointe
As students across Calhoun County return to school – in person and virtually – this may add more stress to your family’s day. Check out these tips and resources from Summit Pointe to help.

Mindfulness is a technique in which we focus our full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations in the moment, but not judging them. Children can benefit from learning about and practicing mindfulness because it can help them build confidence, cope with stress, and tolerate uncomfortable or challenging moments. It can also increase children’s ability to focus and retain new information. Find more information at

One way to introduce mindfulness to your children is through informal practices you can do together. Start with a simple kindness meditation – offering good wishes and compassion to others. 

  1. To begin, find a comfortable sitting position. You can place a hand on your heart. Allow your eyes to close, or lower your gaze to the floor.
  2. Bring to mind someone who you respect and look up to, and who really loves you in return.
  3. Notice how you feel as you bring this person to mind.
  4. Make a kind wish and send it their way. What would make them happy?
  5. Next, bring to mind someone else you love and care about – a family member, a friend, a beloved colleague. Send this person a kind wish.
  6. Now think of a more neutral person – perhaps someone you don’t know very well – a parent you see occasionally in the school pick-up line, a person who delivers your mail, or someone who makes you coffee in the morning. Bring this person to mind and imagine yourself sending them a kind wish.
  7. Lastly, bring to mind someone who has frustrated you lately, or someone who has been a little difficult. Send this person a kind wish – something nice for them in their life.
  8. Check in with your mind and body as you finish this practice. Open your eyes. 

Stress Management
When children (or adults) are upset or over-stimulated, a good way to respond in the moment is to take a break from what is happening, and practice a short breathing exercise. It also helps to practice these techniques when your child is in a calm state, like before bed. That way, they are better able to use the skills when needed, during a difficult time.

Four Square Breathing: This is a useful tool for older children. Breathe in for a count of four. Hold the breath for a count of four. Breathe out for a count of four. Hold the breath for a count of four. Do several rounds, and return to regular breathing.

Teddy Bear Breath: This is a great variation of the belly-breathing practice for young children. Have them lie down with a teddy bear, or other stuffed animal, on their belly. Let them watch as it moves up and down while they breathe, as if they are rocking it to sleep.

Self-Care Time
It is important to help children plan fun, engaging, and enjoyable activities during their day, especially if they are learning remotely. These activities can be considered part of a “self-care” routine, which is important for healthy stress management. Activities could include going for a walk outside and practicing engaging all five senses, listening to music, playing board or card games, drawing or doing another art activity, or having a snack. A visual schedule showing the child when to expect breaks, fun activities, snacks, and lunch will help them make it through the academic demands of their day.

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