The increase in COVID-19 cases that has been seen around Michigan the past several weeks hasn’t necessarily meant cases are out of control in Berrien County. Speaking to the Berrien County Board of Health Wednesday, Berrien County Health Officer Nicki Britten said there was a rise in cases here in Berrien, but they could be trending back down.

“We are now averaging between 50 and 55 new cases per day,” Britten said. “However, over the last week or so the increasing trend has leveled off a bit.”

Britten noted while hospitalizations are up to around 30 at a given time from around ten a few months ago, those have also been leveling off in recent days. How about deaths?

“We have not seen a sharp increase in our deaths. I do believe a lot of that could be attributed to the fact that we do have really good coverage of our older adults in terms of vaccination.”

Britten said as far as the vaccination effort is concerned, the appointment slots at health department clinics are not being booked up as fast as they were in previous months as those who were eager to get vaccines have gotten them. The department is still filling all appointments, but no-shows have also been happening. However, she was glad to report the Berrien County Health Department has not had to throw away a single dose out of all of the nearly 30,000 doses it has administered. As of Wednesday, more than 72,000 vaccine doses have been given out in Berrien County to 46,000 people. More than 70% of the 70+ population has had a shot.