Cass County confirms first case of COVID-19

CASS COUNTY — Cass County officials announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the area.

Thursday, the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department was notified by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services of one positive case of COVID-19 in Cass County.  VBCDHD is continuing to investigate the circumstances around this case and working to identify individuals who may have come into close contact with the individual, officials said.

The Cass County case adds to the 2,294 confirmed cases in the state of Michigan. Neighboring Van Buren County has two confirmed cases, while Berrien County has 11.

“This is the first confirmed case in Cass County but judging from other areas of the state, we anticipate more positives,” said Larry Wile, medical director at VBCDHD. “We urge all residents to please take all precautions to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

Nationwide, there have been 54,453 cases and 737 deaths, 43 of which have been recorded in Michigan.

COVID-19 symptoms can appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. VBCDHD is asking anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 — fever, cough and shortness of breath — to self-isolate to avoid potentially exposing others and reminding the community that it is vital everyone understands the hospital is intended for those who are very sick. People who suspect they may have symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home and call their primary care provider, one of the COVID-19 numbers provided by each local health system, or do a virtual visit with their health system. VBCDHD has local COVID-19 Healthcare Advisor phone numbers listed on its website.

“It is important to stay home, outside of seeking urgent medical care, to avoid infecting people,” Wile said. “If severe, life-threatening symptoms appear, individuals should go to the emergency room.”

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, people should:

  • Wash their hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Stay home when sick (except to get medical care)
  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs.
  • Keep 6 feet distance between yourself and others
  • Follow the current “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order 2020-21 and suggested guidelines for social distancing

As the situation continues to change rapidly, Van Buren/Cass District Health Department provides local updates about COVID-19 and prevention resources at vbcassdhd.org/covid-19.