Cases of COVID-19 in Berrien County have been showing a marked increase. Berrien County Health Department Communications Manager Gillian Conrad tells us we’re experiencing rates of cases the county has not seen for the entire pandemic.

“We started to note a bit of an uptick as of about two weeks ago, and had been watching that trend very closely,” Conrad said. “It was definitely clear at the end of last week, however, that we were certainly experiencing an upward trend.”

Conrad says the number of cases isn’t the only thing that’s gone up. The percentage of tests that come back positive is now up to 5% from 3% a couple of months ago. Hospitalizations are also up.

“Currently, our hospital systems are not overwhelmed. They’re not operating at surge capacity, but we definitely are experiencing higher hospitalization levels than we have been for quite some time here in Berrien County.”

Conrad says this matches the statewide trend as Michigan had more than 2,000 additional cases confirmed on Friday, and then nearly 3,000 for Sunday and Monday combined. She says this is the moment to overcome quarantine fatigue and remain vigilant. Wear a mask, distance, and stay home if sick.