Misleading article claims Niles has highest COVID numbers in all of Michigan

NILES, Mi.--- A recent web article mistakenly list Niles as the city with the highest COVID numbers in all of Michigan. The article posted by 247wallstreet.com is being called misleading by city and county officials alike.

"Misinformation and disjointed voices at multiple levels of government have made messaging during this pandemic extremely difficult," said Gillian Conrad, Communications Director for the Berrien County Health Department.

Officials say there are several red flags in the article that forced them to point out its inaccuracies. 

"Berrien County Health Department is tracking Coronavirus numbers by zip code but not quite down to the municipal level" said Conrad. 

Niles Mayor Nick Shelton also weighed in on Facebook saying in part:

"This article also shows Niles has a population of 154,807 people (we don’t... we have around 11,000 residents). The area the author refers to is the 'Niles Metropolitan Area.' According to the Metropolitan Statistical Area, this area includes South Bend, Mishawaka, Elkhart, and Niles combined. It is essentially what we refer to as Michiana."

Conrad says the safest way to gather the most accurate and up to date COVID information is to visit the websites of government agencies.

"We cannot believe everything we see on social media," said Conrad. "It’s important when we’re looking for information, accurate information about COVID-19 you should be going to verified trusted sources like your local health department or the CDC."

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