Second person in Berrien County has died of COVID-19

The Berrien County Health Department announced a second patient with COVID-19 has died.

There are 60 confirmed cases in the county.

The man who died was over the age of 65 and had an underlying medical condition. He had been hospitalized at Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph.

“This loss of life is tragic and we send our deep condolences to the family,” said Berrien County Health Department Health Officer Nicki Britten. “We remain committed to slowing the spread of this virus to try to minimize the loss of life in our community during these unprecedented times.”

Officials say several recent COVID-19 cases were associated with in-person funerals in the county, they are asking families to conduct a live-streamed funeral to allow people to attend remotely.

In-person attendance should be limited to under 10 people.

The department also reminds residents they should stay at home and celebrate the upcoming religious holidays at home.

"While the way we celebrate traditions may be different this year, know that you are not alone," said Health Officer Nicki Britten. "This is a challenging time and while we come from many different backgrounds, faiths and walks of life, we are uniquely bonded by this shared experience. One of the most loving things we can do for one another is to stay home.”

There are many ways to stay safe in your worship during the COVID-19 pandemic (suggestions provided by the health department):

  • Check your place of worship's webpage and social media for virtual services.
  • Celebrate with family via video chat.
  • Cook traditional foods at home to enjoy the familiar tastes and smells of the holiday.
  • Consider a smaller celebration with your immediate family now, and hold a larger celebration when the pandemic is over.
  • If you are setting up remote worship, make sure to communicate with your community on how to get connected.
  • Both Facebook and YouTube have options called “Premiere” that will allows houses of worship to pre-record, load, and schedule a video of a service to start at a certain time. This provides a similar feel and comments section interaction of a livestream, but does not require a broadcast live with WiFi.
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