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Van Buren County reports first COVID-19 death

VAN BUREN COUNTY — The death toll of COVID-19 continues to rise, with another death reported in southwest Michigan by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The first death of a Van Buren County resident as a result of COVID-19 was reported Thursday by MDHHS. The victim was a man in his mid-70s with underlying health conditions, according to the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Van Buren County was 12 as of 3 p.m. Thursday. Berrien County reported 40 cases, and Cass County six.

Both Berrien and Cass County reported one death each due to COVID-19 earlier this week.

Statewide, there have been 10,791 cases to date and 417 deaths.

Nearby Kalamazoo County had 34 cases and one death. St. Joseph County has reported eight cases and no deaths.

The highest concentration of cases in the state remains in the Detroit area. The city of Detroit has 2,858 confirmed cases and 101 deaths to date. Wayne County has 2,211 cases and 93 deaths, while Oakland County has 2,183 cases and 119 deaths.

Across state lines, Indiana has 3,039 total positive cases and 78 deaths as of 3 p.m. Thursday. St. Joseph County, Indiana has 65 cases, and Elkhart County, Indiana has 27.

Officials with both the Berrien County Department and the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department encouraged all residents to keep following the basic prevention steps to prevent the spread of the virus:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid shaking hands
  • Keep at least 6 feet apart from others when in public
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when sick

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