As cases continue to increase in our district, to break the chain of infection and continue to slow the spread, we’re calling anyone who has a positive COVID-19 test or has been a close contact (within 6ft of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period). See the updated CDC definition of a close contact
If you get a call from our Health Department (269-621-3143 or 269-782-0064) or MI COVID HELP (866-806-3447), keep your family and friends safe by answering the call.
Updated October 24, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.:
Positive cases of COVID-19
Recovered* as of 10/15/2020
Van Buren County
*Van Buren-Cass District Health Department will be posting “recovered” numbers once a week on Friday’s. Recovered is defined as the number of persons with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis who are alive 30 days post-onset (or referral date if onset is not available).
** As of October 23, 2020
*** As of October 24, 2020
To see important information about the pandemic status including daily totals, click on the MI Safe Start Map.
MDHHS is now reporting school-related outbreak data. Outbreaks are defined as schools having two (2) or more COVID-19 cases who may have shared exposure at the school grounds and are not from the same household (with the exception of dorms and off-campus housing) are included.
Have a concern related to health and safety during COVID-19 re-opening?
Halloween on your mind?
We recommend referring to these sites for the most current information:
In Michigan: www.michigan.gov/coronavirus
United Way of Southwest Michigan (local): for emergency updates, links to trusted sources, food distribution sites, and self-care strategies: https://www.uwsm.
MASK UP, MICHIGAN MI MASK AID
- >Four million free masks are being provided to Michigan residents
- >Those interested in receiving a free mask can contact their local Community Action Agency or local DHHS office.
Click HERE for information about FABRIC FACE COVERINGS: how to LOCATE them and where to DONATE them in our area – as well as IMPORTANT information about Safety & Use
Click HERE for our GUIDANCE FOR BUSINESSES REOPENING page and download the local VBCDHD Covid-19 Business Reopening Guidance Toolkit
From Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS)
10/21/2020, MDHHS Director Robert Gordon issued an Emergency Order under MCL 333.2253 that updates and further expands requirements for residential care facilities, while also permitting indoor visitation in residential care facilities in certain circumstances.
The residential care order continues to limit communal dining and internal and external group activities consistent with Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidance and it requires quick notification in the event an employee or resident is confirmed as positive for COVID-19.
Under the order, visitation rules are linked to the risk level of the county. A list of county risk levels is available on the MI Safe Start Map (click “Dashboard” in the upper right to see data).
From the Office of Governor Gretchen Whitmer:
An easy-to-use chart is available online that summarizes Governor Whitmer’s executive orders related to COVID-19, which includes a list of activities that are allowed, not allowed, or limited in some way. The chart can be sorted by category, activity, region of the state, and more. The executive order should always be reviewed, and in the event of a conflict between the order and online table, the order controls.
> Gov. Whitmer Releases MI Safe Start Plan, A Plan to Re-Engage Michigan’s Economy
VBCDHD is working closely with our local medical community to address COVID-19
The Van Buren/Cass District Health Department is not currently testing at our location.
If an individual suspects they have COVID-19 symptoms, they should stay home and take one of the following steps:
- Call their primary care provider (PCP) via telephone
- Do a virtual visit with their health system/provider
- Contact one of the Care Advisor Phone Numbers or Web Pages provided by our local health systems. *these numbers are helpful for individuals who do not have a PCP.
*If your symptoms are life-threatening call 9-1-1
Care Advisor Phone Numbers and Web Pages:
(269) 930-1002 / Testing is by appointment
1951 Oak St. Niles, MI 49120.
Mondays 8-12 noon; Tuesdays 1-5 pm; Thursdays 8-12 noon.
*No charge to patients, insurance billed if available.
Appointments can be made at https://www.
Learn more about how it works and other Family Fares that are participating here: https://www.
Hope Community Church
2390 Lake Street, Niles.
Mondays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Wednesdays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Thursdays 12 – 7 p.m.
Free saliva tests, does not require ID or insurance, is available for any age (including infants), and anticipates a 3-4 day result turnaround.
InterCare Health Network
*Drive-thru testing is available in Bangor (Wednesdays 9am-3pm), Pullman (Tuesdays 9am-3pm), and Benton Harbor (see site for list of days/times). Individuals do not have to bring a lab order.
Where to Find Assistance and Resources
COVID-19 Test Finder
GET TESTED... If you feel sick - If someone close to you is sick or has symptoms - If you work outside the home.
More people are now eligible for COVID-19 testing. Learn more: MDHHS expands COVID-19 testing criteria to better protect residents; Greater access is important as Michigan reopens state economy.
Where to find Assistance
Mental Health Resources: Stay Home. Stay Well - www.Michigan.gov/StayWell ifyou are feeling emotional distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, help is available. There are many ways to connect with emotional support
> Mental Health Resources - Clinicians are available for residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone who wishes to speak to a mental health clinician can do so by calling the following numbers: Woodlands Behavioral Health (Cass County) 269-445-2541 or 800-323-0335 Van Buren Community Mental Health (VB County) 800-922-1418
> Call 2-1-1 from any phone to be connected to a list of statewide resources for everything from food and diapers to rental assistance. You can also search the 211 online database.
> Apply for Benefits, Manage Your Case, and Explore Resources. MIBridges offers a number of programs to help you and your family with temporary assistance when times are tough.
> United Way of Southwest Michigan (local): for emergency updates, links to trusted sources, food distribution sites, and self-care strategies: https://www.uwsm.org/emergency-preparedness-response
> SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to a disaster, call 1-800-985-5990.
> The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has some helpful tips and strategies from mental health professionals to help you or a loved one struggling with anxiety around the coronavirus or with general health anxiety concerns. The ADAA blog posts and videos contain information about the virus and helpful tips about how to mitigate against increased anxiety.
>Stay home, stay MIndful. - Headspace.com. This special collection of meditation, sleep, and movement exercises are designed to help you keep a strong and healthy mind in the midst of this global health crisis.
MI Safe Start Map
VBCDHD Updates & Press Releases
7/14/2020 Growing Data Show Hispanic/Latino Communities Being Hit Disproportionately by COVID-19 - Health Department Officials focus efforts on prevention
7/14/2020 Cada vez más datos muestran que las comunidades de hispanos/latinos resultan afectadas en forma desproporcionada por el COVID-19 -
Funcionarios del Departamento de Salud enfocan sus esfuerzos en la prevención
5/19/2020 Van Buren Cass District Health Deaprtment launch a dedicated webpage to assist Cass and Van Buren county businesses and organizations with reopening safely: https://vbcassdhd.org/
Michigan.gov Press Releases & Coronavirus News
Michigan.gov Press Releases CORONAVIRUS NEWS
Health insurance enrollment deadlines are fast approaching for people who lost their health insurance due to layoffs, reduced hours, or a change in income during the COVID-19 pandemic to take advantage of low or no-cost health care options available through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Consumers in these situations must sign up for health insurance within 60 days, which is coming soon for people who were impacted in the early weeks of the COVID-19 response.
To determine eligibility, consumers should visit the Health Insurance Marketplace at www.healthcare.gov. Depending on income and their situation, consumers may qualify for cost sharing reductions, premium tax credits, coverage for their children (CHIP), or Medicaid. Consumers should contact DIFS toll free at 877-999-6442 if they need assistance.