COVID-19 deaths will be reported by physicians and funeral homes more quickly

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by webdesign No Comments

Emergency Order requires funeral homes, doctors to report COVID-19 deaths more quickly

COVID-19 deaths will be reported by physicians and funeral homes more quickly under an emergency order issued by Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon that will improve the state’s response to slowing the spread of the virus. The order, effective immediately, gets important death information to public health officials so they can better provide health services and enforce health laws. The order requires physicians who know or suspect that a patient’s death resulted from COVID-19 to try to promptly notify the funeral director. The funeral director is then required to initiate the death record and submit to the attending physician within 24 hours of becoming aware that the death resulted or is suspected to have resulted from COVID-19. The funeral director must then file the death record with the local registrar of the district where the death occurred within 48 hours of becoming aware the death resulted or was suspected to have resulted from COVID-19. Funeral directors also must report all deaths using Michigan’s Electronic Death Records System.

Lane restrictions scheduled for U.S. 31 between Toll Road and Michigan state line

Posted on: April 5th, 2020 by webdesign No Comments

The NB and SB passing lanes on U.S. 31 between the Indiana Toll Road and the Michigan state line will be restricted beginning on or after Monday, April 6. This restriction is the first phase of a project to reconstruct U.S. 31 and will be to construct median crossovers. 12 ft. driving lanes will be available. No wide loads are permitted. This restriction will last for approximately two weeks. After the crossovers are complete, the SB lanes will be converted to two-way traffic while construction is completed on the NB lanes.

Nessel’s Office Tells Businesses to Stop Selling Fake COVID-19 Test Kits

Posted on: April 4th, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


In continuing efforts to protect residents from scams and price-gouging related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office on Wednesday contacted two related businesses demanding they stop marketing and selling fake at-home COVID-19 test kits to Michigan consumers. The Attorney General’s letter was sent to VitaStik Inc. and $tronghold Inc. – both registered in Las Vegas, Nevada, but operating in Beverly Hills, California – after a concerned Michigan consumer reported the businesses’ website promoting at-home COVID-19 test kits. The kits were marketed at $25 each and described as being 96.3 percent accurate, with results available in 15 minutes. No such kits have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned consumers that all such promotions are scams.

Seniors Can Get Meals Safely in Michigan During Covid-19 Outbreak

Posted on: April 4th, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


Michigan recently received additional federal dollars to help provide meals to older adults as the state responds to the COVID-19 pandemic and wants to make seniors aware of food delivery programs. These programs – available to Michigan residents over age 60 – provide meals through home delivery and pick up services during the current pandemic. The need for these services – particularly home-delivered and packaged meals – has increased as community measures to slow transmission of COVID-19 have closed meal sites and left many family caregivers unable to assist older loved ones. For more information about COVID-19, please visit Michigan.gov/coronavirus

File for unemployment benefits between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Posted on: April 3rd, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


Filing online remains the fastest way for Michiganders to apply for unemployment benefits at Michigan.gov/UIA. The Unemployment Insurance Agency urges Michiganders to file during off-peak hours to avoid longer load times. Users are asked to be patient and not click more than once to reload a page. Filing online remains the fastest way for Michiganders to apply for unemployment benefits. And filing during off-peak times is even faster. Off-peak hours: 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.

State Accepting Monetary Donations to Aid COVID-19 Response and Recovery

Posted on: April 3rd, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


As Michiganders face challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the State of Michigan has launched the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Initiative to accept monetary donations to support critical services.
Funds will be distributed through the State Emergency Operations Center established process, based on critical needs. Donations will be allocated to provide food and water, education support for children, and other essential activities as needs are identified. Donating to the Michigan COVID-19 Response and Recovery Initiative will help leverage federal resources, including FEMA funds, that require a match. Donations of any size can be made by credit or debit card. A secure online donation with the Michigan Department of Treasury can be made by visiting www.michigan.gov/fightcovid19 and clicking donations.

Michigan Seeks Approval to Streamline Medicaid

Posted on: April 3rd, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is requesting federal approval of flexibilities for the state’s Medicaid Program that are consistent with the commitment of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun to keep Michigan’s most vulnerable residents safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. MDHHS is making the request to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to temporarily waive a number of Medicaid requirements. Michigan is asking the federal government to allow its Medicaid program to: Suspend the need for new prior authorization requests for medical services and extending existing prior authorization agreements. Streamline enrollment for Medicaid providers and allowing approved out-of-state providers to begin serving beneficiaries quickly. Allow telephonic healthcare services as part of telehealth/telemedicine delivery. Waive quantity limits on durable medical equipment, medical supplies and pharmaceuticals. Remove limitations on providers to allow qualified physician assistants and nurses to treat COVID-19 patients.

Berrien County Directs Residents to Hotline, Not 9-1-1 for Executive Order Concerns

Posted on: April 2nd, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


Although many people have questions regarding the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order signed by Governor Whitmer, Berrien County residents are requested to not call the Berrien County Public Safety Dispatch Center with their questions or concerns regarding possible violations. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office is working closely with the Health Department to attempt to handle these calls through the Berrien County COVID-19 Response Hotline (800) 815-5485. Sheriff Paul Bailey is asking residents to review the Executive Order before making a formal complaint, since many exceptions apply. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department has established an online tip form to handle the non-emergency reports of violations of the Executive Order issued by the Governor. This tip form can be found at www.bcsheriff.org/ExecutiveOrderTip Spectrum Health Lakeland continues to prepare for heightened COVID-19 activity in Berrien County. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) should call the free COVID-19 screening hotline at 616.391.2380 and remain home for seven days after illness onset, or 72 hours after resolution of fever and improvement of respiratory symptoms, whichever is longer.

Girls on the Run Southwest Michigan Cancels Spring 2020 Season and 5K

Posted on: April 2nd, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


After careful consideration, the board and staff of Girls on the Run Southwest Michigan has made the difficult decision to cancel the Spring 2020 season and celebration Girls on the Run 5K, presented by United Federal Credit Union. The decision recognizes our collective responsibility to ensure a safer and healthier community for all. Girls on the Run Southwest Michigan was poised to serve 759 girls in 2020, hosting 42 teams in Berrien, Cass, Van Buren, and St. Joseph counties. This season also marked the significant new 5K location – Southwestern Michigan College – where teams from four counties could run together. As a nonprofit organization, the cancellation of the season and celebration 5K events presents significant a funding challenge. With challenging times ahead, Girls on the Run Southwest Michigan encourages the community to donate at www.gotrswmi.org/donate, allowing them to remain operational as they explore summer and fall programming, and look forward to an amazing 2021.

LaSata announces drawing contest for schoolchildren

Posted on: April 2nd, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


State Sen. Kim LaSata announced on Wednesday a new drawing contest open to all schoolchildren in the 21st Senate District to submit a drawing of their favorite Michigan landmark. “With our kids stuck at home because of the stay at home order, it has been a challenge to keep them engaged in educational enrichment activities,” said LaSata, R-Bainbridge Township. “I hope that this drawing contest will inspire students to exhibit their talents and learn more about our great state and its landmarks.” The contest is open from April 6 through April 24. Only electronic submissions will be accepted, and the drawings should be emailed to [email protected]. All submissions should include the name, grade and hometown of the participant, as well as a parent’s or guardian’s name and phone number. Questions about the contest should be directed to the above email address or by phone at 517-373-6960

Horizon Bank Pledges $250,000 in Financial Assistance toward COVID-19 Relief Efforts in SW Michigan and NW Indiana

Posted on: April 1st, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


Horizon Bank announced that it is pledging $250,000 in aid for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds will be allocated across several not-for-profit groups who are working to assist affected individuals in the communities we serve in the States of Indiana and Michigan. “This is an unprecedented time, and as such it’s critical for those that have the resources to do what we can to assist those who are feeling the most immediate impacts of the coronavirus outbreak,” said Craig Dwight, Chairman and CEO. “We want to support organizations that are already positioned, equipped and well managed to efficiently deliver the aid to those most in need. Therefore, Horizon Bank is joining forces with multiple agencies to maximize the services they provide. We also encourage other companies and individuals to support their communities whenever and wherever possible.” The Bank’s donations are supporting local area United Ways, food banks and those that provide rental assistance.DOR Waiving Certain Motor Carrier Requirements due to COVID-19

Bikes on Trains suspended until further notice

Posted on: April 1st, 2020 by webdesign No Comments

The South Shore Line reminds passengers that the Bikes on Trains program set to begin April 1, 2020, will be temporarily suspended until further notice. Bikes will be prohibited from all weekend and weekday trains during this time.

The SSL is currently operating reduced modified weekday service, and will continue to do so as the COVID-19 situation develops. Please click here for more information on the revised weekday schedule.

Bikes on Trains updates will be announced as they become available.


South Shore Line Revision

Posted on: March 31st, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


At the time the South Shore Line implemented a modified weekday schedule last week, they placed two extra trains in the morning and evening rush hour periods. Scheduling was based upon ridership levels at that time, but a lot can change in one week during this pandemic. The SSL is at a point where they see plenty of capacity during the evening rush hour period, and have the opportunity to provide service during the mid-day where a large gap existed. In an effort to accommodate commuters seeking an early afternoon eastbound departure, the SSL is revising the modified eastbound train service, effective Wednesday, April 1, 2020. The SSL continues to operate a temporary modified weekday train schedule until further notice, and beginning April 1, eastbound Train 801 will depart Millennium Station at 2:55 p.m. As such, there will no longer be a 5:05 p.m. departure time.

LMC extends online instruction through Spring semester

Posted on: March 30th, 2020 by webdesign No Comments

Lake Michigan College will extend online, distance learning through the rest of the spring semester in response to the state-wide shelter-in-place order.

The college originally transitioned its in-person, face-to-face classes to be temporarily delivered online beginning on Monday, March 23 with a plan for students to return to campus on April 14.

Now students will participate in online, distance learning through the duration of the semester which ends on May 1.

The college has also adjusted its summer term schedule. Originally summer classes were scheduled to begin on May 11. Now the summer term will begin on June 9 and end on August 21. All summer classes will be delivered online through distance learning.

Michigan Farm Bureau Family of Companies launches Million Meal Challenge to help feed hungry families during COVID-19 crisis

Posted on: March 30th, 2020 by webdesign No Comments

Company to donate one million meals to Michigan Food Banks In an effort to minimize exposure of COVID-19 to residents, the state of Michigan issued an order to close schools, restaurants and other establishments deemed non-essential, leaving several families struggling to make ends meet. To bridge the food gap during this time, the Michigan Farm Bureau Family of Companies—Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan, Michigan Farm Bureau and the Agent Charitable Fund—announced the launch of a statewide fundraiser, The Million Meal Challenge.

Senior Deputy Retires

Posted on: March 30th, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


The Portage Department of Public Safety announced the retirement of Senior Deputy Fire Chief John Podgorski. Chief Podgorski retired Friday after 18 years of service to the City of Portage. Chief Podgroski started his fire service career as a paid-on-call firefighter for Bridgeport Charter Township in 1982 rising to the rank of Fire Chief. In 2002, Chief Podgroski came to the City of Portage as a Deputy Fire Chief. In 2011 he was promoted to Senior Deputy Fire Chief. In 2015, under Chief Podgorski’s leadership the Portage Fire Division became the second fire agency in the State of Michigan to earn internationally accredited status through the Center for Public Safety Excellence. The City of Portage thanks Chief Podgorski for his years of service to the community.

Additional Food Assistance for 350,000 Michigan Families Approved in Response to COVID-19 Emergency

Posted on: March 30th, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


Approximately 350,000 Michigan families will have access to additional food assistance benefits as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak and about 27,000 individuals will be temporarily exempt from federal work requirements, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced Friday. Nearly 1.2 million people in Michigan received federal SNAP benefits through the state’s Food Assistance Program as of February.

Berrien County law enforcement receives guidance from Attorney General’s Office

Posted on: March 30th, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


Berrien County Prosecutor Michael Sepic, after consulting on a conference call with a criminal division assistant Attorney General, has today given local law enforcement guidance on the enforcement of Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order, 2020-21. Sepic has encouraged local law enforcement to demonstrate to the public the importance of the “Stay at Home” Executive Order. He says the reasons and importance in light of the current situation with the coronavirus need not be restated. Sepic says it will be important for law enforcement to follow up on conduct they observe which may be in violation of the Order as well as take complaints from the public. Law enforcement is in a position to educate the public on the importance and the breadth of the Order. While originally the Attorney General believed her office would be in the forefront of enforcement and prosecution of Executive Order violations, EO 2020-21 has created far too many questions from the public and local law enforcement for one agency to handle. Thus, local authorities will deal with enforcement and prosecution. Sepic has advised local law enforcement the use of warnings will be preferred to accomplish compliance in the first instance. Citations under MCL 33.10, a 90-day/$500 misdemeanor should be issued for non-compliance for technical violations where warnings are ignored. If the situation is one that appears to have clear public health consequences, an order by law enforcement to cease and desist that is ignored could result in an arrest for Resisting and Obstruction a Police Officer, a 2-year felony. He says some agencies are already inspecting businesses and issuing warnings.

Nine County Police Officers Quarantined Following Arrest Subject’s Showing of COVID Symptoms

Posted on: March 28th, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


Nine County Police Officer were quarantined or sent home to self-isolate on Thursday March 26 after coming in contact with an arrest subject whom a short time later showed symptoms of COVID-19. The arrest subject was then tested for COVID-19 at the county jail, those results are still pending. None of the nine County Police officers have any symptoms of the virus, nor have any been recommended for COVID-19 test. The quarantine of the officer was made by the department out of caution to the officers, their families, and our other officers. Three County Police Patrol Officers involved in a physical, hands on arrest of the subject on Monday night were quarantined. That decision was made by police administration on Thursday after reviewing the facts of the arrest, the CDC guidance and discussing the incident with department medical staff. South Bend Police Officers were also involved in the arrest. SBPD supervisors have been notified of the arrest subject’s symptoms and pending test. Additionally, five County Police Detectives and one County Police task force officer were sent home on Thursday to self-isolate out of extra caution. During a call back to the subject’s residence on Wednesday, these six all entered the subject’s residence to execute a search warrant of the residence and the subject’s bedroom The precaution of isolating these six is not required by CDC guidance, but was recommended department medical staff to prevent any potential mass exposure to our department. These six officers all continue to work on their cases from home in coordination with other detectives. Again, none of the nine County Police Officers have any virus symptoms and the County Jail is still waiting on test result of the arrest subject. The subject’s family, who also resides in the residence have been notified. The County Jail medical staff expect the subject’s COVID-19 test results to be completed by the outside lab on Sunday or Monday.

Additional Food Assistance for 350,000 Michigan Families Approved in Response to COVID-19 Emergency

Posted on: March 28th, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


Approximately 350,000 Michigan families will have access to additional food assistance benefits as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak and about 27,000 individuals will be temporarily exempt from federal work requirements, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced Friday. Nearly 1.2 million people in Michigan received federal SNAP benefits through the state’s Food Assistance Program as of February.

The State of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) provided updated information

Posted on: March 27th, 2020 by webdesign No Comments

The State of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) provided updated information for workers affected by COVID-19. Workers are encouraged to apply online at Michigan.gov/UIA or over the phone at 866-500-0017, but due to the tremendous call volume, certain callers may receive a busy signal. In addition, applying online in off-peak hours will expedite the process. The 24-hour website operates faster when there are fewer people on the site at any given time. The UIA also urges Michiganders using the website to expect longer load times. It may take several minutes for a page to load at this time. Users are asked to be patient and not click more than once to reload a page. Filing online remains the fastest way for Michiganders to apply for unemployment benefits. Off-peak hours: 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Applicants with questions can also access information on the website Michigan.gov/UIA

AG Nessel Provides Guidance on Executive Orders Violations

Posted on: March 27th, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


After her Consumer Protection intake lines were flooded with phone calls related to violations of the state’s new rules implemented as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is providing guidance on how to file complaints about individuals and businesses that aren’t complying with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders. The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection intake team will continue to receive consumer reports of price-gouging and scams. Those can be made online or by calling the office’s tip line at 877-765-8388. For other violations of the Governor’s executive orders, please contact the law enforcement agency where you reside.

MI Attorney General Dana Nessel Issues Urgent Consumer Alert Following Reports of Federal Stimulus Scams

Posted on: March 27th, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued an urgent consumer alert urging Michiganders to be on high alert for bad actors aiming to coerce them out of their personal information in a new federal stimulus payment scam. Scammers are using the news that the federal government will send one-time payments to millions of people across the country as part of the federal economic relief response to COVID-19 to steal personal information. The Michigan Department of Attorney General has already received reports that residents are getting emails from websites appearing to be official demanding that they provide PayPal, bank account or other financial information to receive the $1,200 federal stimulus payment immediately. The Attorney General’s office is reminding anyone who receives a text, email or phone call from someone claiming to be from the government with a check for them — DO NOT FALL FOR IT. These fake phishing scams will likely ask for a person’s bank account information and insist $1,000 or more will be deposited directly into his or her bank account. Personal information should not be given to anyone unless the provider of that information is absolutely certain of the identity of the person requesting it.

Spring Michigan Adopt-A-Highway pickup cancelled

Posted on: March 26th, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


In accordance with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ recommendations designed to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will be cancelling the spring Adopt-A-Highway pickups previously scheduled for April 18-26 and May 9-17 around the state. The program is currently planned to resume with the statewide summer pickup, scheduled for July 18-26. For more information, visit www.Michigan.gov/AdoptAHighway

Compliance Calls Should Go To Local Law Enforcement

Posted on: March 26th, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


The Michigan Department of the Attorney General issued a press release and stated the following: Due to the overwhelming number of calls related to the Governor’s COVID-19 Executive Orders, the Michigan Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline has been overwhelmed, literally bringing our system to a standstill. We urge you to remind Michigan residents that any complaints related to the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order should be directed to local law enforcement agencies – and we are counting on our partners in law enforcement to remind everyone that failing to comply with the Governor’s Executive Orders could result in a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail for each violation. The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection team is designed to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive and fraudulent business practices. This team has received thousands of complaints but at this time its main focus is cracking down on price-gouging and scams related to COVID-19. All other violations of the Governor’s Executive Orders should be referred to local police departments for enforcement. The Department of Attorney General stands ready to assist local prosecuting attorneys’ offices as these cases move forward.

Michigan Department of Education to Request Federal Waiver for Child Nutrition Programs

Posted on: March 26th, 2020 by webdesign No Comments

T he Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced Wednesday it will request a federal waiver of statutory and regulatory requirements in the Child Nutrition Programs, in accordance with federal guidance. The waiver would allow MDE to maximize the reimbursement rates to support increased menu, supply, transportation, and labor options for sponsors that may be experiencing a disruption in access to food and other resources during this difficult time. MDE is requesting the waiver on behalf of all Child Nutrition Program sponsors determined to be in good standing in the state of Michigan. MDE is preemptively seeking the discretion to reimburse all U. S. Department of Agriculture Unanticipated School Closure Summer Food Service Program meals at the self-preparation or rural rate for all Child Nutrition Program sponsors continuing to serve meals that have been affected by the state of emergency.
Child Nutrition Program sponsors do not need to request exceptions from the Michigan Department of Education. For questions about Michigan’s Child Nutrition Programs, contact the Director of the Office of Health and Nutrition Services, Diane Golzynski, at 517-241-5374 or [email protected].

Local Leaders Share Resource Information for COVID-19 Response A Berrien County Call to Action

Posted on: March 26th, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


On Wednesday, the leaders of several business and not-for-profit community and economic development organizations announced, in response to questions from area businesses and manufacturers, the tools necessary to sign up for and assist with the product needs related to the COVID-19 virus outbreak in our state and nation. Cornerstone Alliance, The Kinexus Group, The Strategic Leadership Council, Berrien County Community Development and The Southwest Michigan Chamber all asked that Berrien County businesses wishing to assist in the response should sign up through the Michigan Business Connect web portal. The intent of the portal is to match suppliers and manufacturers with those in need of expected high-demand items such as personal protection equipment, face shields, masks, replacement parts for medical equipment and other items deemed necessary by those on the front lines of the fight against the virus. Those interested in sharing their needs or signing up to support should visit:tps://pmbc.connect.space/covid19/forms

Food Service to Children Continues Through the “Stay Home” Order

Posted on: March 26th, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


School meals will continue to be served to Michigan children throughout the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order declared by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday, the Michigan Department of Education reiterated Wednesday. “Families will still be able to access meals for their children through this challenging time,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “I thank all of the school employees and volunteers for continuing their commitment to feeding the children of our state. Ensuring Michigan’s children continue to get the food they need every day is vitally important.” Executive Order 2020-21 directed residents of Michigan to remain at home, prohibiting public and private gatherings among non-family members, and barring non-essential work activities. The executive order took effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. The “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order makes specific allowances for food and agriculture work to continue. This includes food service operations at schools, childcare institutions and centers, and emergency feeding operations across the state. School meals will continue to be provided by school districts currently doing so until further notice.

Berrien RESA, Lewis Cass and Van Buren ISDs Assist Essential Workers in Finding Child Care

Posted on: March 25th, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


Executive Order 2020-16 calls upon Michigan’s ISDs to coordinate community efforts to support childcare needs for essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis. Berrien RESA, Lewis Cass ISD and Van Buren ISD are answering the call and have developed a plan in collaboration with Southwest Child Care Resources and United Way of Southwest Michigan, and in special partnership with the YMCA of Michiana. The plan asks essential workers (as defined in Executive Order 2020-16) find help by calling the statewide assistance number 2-1-1 or by visiting www.helpmegrow-mi.org. Once a worker’s information has been collected, a local representative will contact the essential worker within 24-48 hours to assist in finding an open child care facility with capacity to address child care needs.

Berrien County COVID-19 Updates

Posted on: March 25th, 2020 by webdesign No Comments


As the response to COVID-19 continues to grow in Berrien County, the Berrien County Health Department and Spectrum Health Lakeland are furthering their partnership in conducting contact tracing and monitoring for positive COVID-19 individuals and their contacts. Spectrum Health Lakeland nurses are joining forces with Berrien County Health Department public health nurses to increase the capacity and effectiveness of contact tracing efforts. During events like this current COVID-19 pandemic, contact tracing helps make possible earlier diagnosis and getting care to people who need it. The information can also help contain clusters of illness within a particular family or community group. If a contact of a COVID-19 positive case develops symptoms, the early identification can ensure that they are isolated at home and not spreading the virus to anyone else. This strategy helps reduce the number of cases, limits illness transmission, and ultimately, will help save the lives of those most vulnerable to this virus. In response to the outpouring of community inquiries and offers of support, Spectrum Health Lakeland has established a drop-off donation site at Lakeland at Meadowbrook, located at 2550 Meadowbrook Road in Benton Harbor. Donations will be accepted from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. To reduce the risk of exposure for all, donors are asked to call 269.927.5361 when they arrive at the drop-off site for further instructions. More information and a list of items being accepted can be found at spectrumhealthlakeland.org/covid19.