As of 3 p.m on Wednesday, Nov. 18, Calhoun County has a cumulative total of 4,496 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to Calhoun County Public Health Department (CCPHD), with a total of 100 deaths attributed to the virus. This information is updated once daily, Monday through Friday, at www.calhouncountymi.gov.
The recent rise of COVID-19 cases in Calhoun County continues this week, with as many as 90 cases per day continuing to be reported. This case surge is coupled with a high percent positivity rate, at 15.1% as the 7-day average as of Nov. 14 (according to mistartmap.info), which is unprecedented in our county and shows that the high case count is not simply due to an increase in testing. From September to October, Calhoun saw a nearly 250% increase in the number of confirmed cases. As of this writing on Nov. 18, Calhoun is only 10 cases shy of October’s 31-day total of positive cases.
Additionally, hospitalizations and deaths are increasing at a rapid pace. Today Calhoun County reports 100 total deaths, and it’s important to understand that although it took us six months to reach 50 deaths, it only took one month to reach the second 50 deaths.
Health Officer Eric Pessell insists that the best action that individuals can take at this time is to follow the new state MDHHS orders that were issued on Sunday, Nov. 16, which can be found on Michigan.gov/coronavirus. These guidelines are in place in Michigan to help us stop the spike in cases, which is something that we must do in Calhoun in order to prevent our hospitals from reaching an unsustainable situation.
Please study the graphics below about the MDHHS “Pause to Save Lives” plan, social gatherings, and “safe social pods.” The State has also recently issued an FAQ to further explain the orders.
Guidance for a Safe ThanksgivingNext Thursday is the Thanksgiving holiday, and we created a helpful video to share the celebration guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The safest way to celebrate this year is with members of your own household. If you choose other ways to celebrate, please follow the recommended safety measures, like limiting the number of other households and people, wearing a mask, and practicing social distancing.
A Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate. See that video here: https://youtu.be/Yw0Vf9C-sck
Food/PPE Distribution in Battle CreekBattle Creek’s New Level Sports Ministries will distribute food staples, personal protective equipment and educational materials to the Washington Heights neighborhood from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 21. Neighbors can pick up items at 400 W. Michigan Ave. in Battle Creek, and should wear a mask and socially distance.
First, New Level Sports will distribute a first round of 1,200 PPE kits – including three-ply disposable masks, disinfectant wipes, sanitizer, gloves, and more. They received $200,000 in state funding, from the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities, to do this work. Washington Heights is home to 60 percent of the city’s African American population, a demographic greatly affected by COVID-19.
The PPE is provided by Stewart Industries, a long-standing African American-owned business in Battle Creek, under the Healthy Battle Creek campaign. Find more information at www.healthybattlecreek.org.
Second, NLSM will receive a truckload of food to distribute to families in need, from a partnership between The Black 14 Philanthropy and Latter-day Saint Charities. New Level is one of nine locations across the country to receive a share of the 40,000 pounds of food.
Please call NLSM for more information, 269-964-4172.
Supporting Local RestaurantsWe encourage the community to support local businesses as much as possible, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurants in particular feel the impact of the newest state epidemic order, as they must close indoor dining for three weeks, starting today. Check out the other options from your favorite restaurants; many offer take-out, curbside pick-up, and delivery.
Check out City of Battle Creek Development Director John Hart’s video message about supporting local restaurants using the locally-developed EatsBC website and app: https://youtu.be/jXATjalN8_4.
Thank you for supporting local!
Survey About Health PrioritiesThe Calhoun County Public Health Department wants to hear from YOU about which issues are a priority to ensure residents maintain a healthy life in Michigan. The MDHHS Public Health Administration launched a State Health Assessment (SHA) process designed to determine what health conditions cause the greatest challenge to Michigan residents. Your experiences impact your health, please take less than five minutes of your time to help all Michiganders! Help us understand how you would prioritize amongst issues to stay healthy and overcome challenges you face; especially during times of a pandemic. We want input from people around Calhoun County so we can see how health issues vary in our county and across communities in Michigan.
Survey link: https://chc.mphi.org/surveys/?s=RDCC39CD77Last day to complete: November 20, 2020. Hurry! Time is running out!
If you have any questions about this survey, please contact Jessie Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.***
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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 Manager269-781-0926, email@example.com
Jessica Vanderkolk, City of Battle Creek Communications Manager269-966-3378, firstname.lastname@example.org