First 2 coronavirus cases reported in Berrien County

Posted at 1:37 PM, Mar 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-21 13:42:38-04

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. — The coronavirus outbreak has reached Berrien County.

The first two positive cases of the virus have been identified there, according to the Berrien County Health Department this afternoon.

Both of the people are women under 60.

They're in good condition and have been in self-isolation for several days at home.

Berrien County said the two women had "close personal contact" with singer Sandi Patty, when she performed at Andrews University in Berrien Springs on March 8.

Since the concert, Patty announced she tested positive on March 17, according to the county.

The Berrien County Health Department and Andrews University are communicating "directly with the people" who had been in "close contact with the individuals who have tested positive."

Anyone who attended the March 8 Sandi Patty concert and had close personal contact with Patty should self-quarantine and monitor themselves, through March 22, for symptoms: fever, cough and shortness of breath.

People who have experienced or are experiencing symptoms should call the Berrien County Health Department hotline at 800-815-5485.

"We are not yet seeing widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in Berrien County - although we anticipate this to change," said Nicki Britten, health officer, Berrien County Health Department.

The "most important thing" people can do is be "diligent" about keeping social distance, wash their hands, don’t touch their face and call ahead before seeking health care, said Dr. Loren Hamel, president, Spectrum Health Lakeland.