BHSJ Daily Update 4/26/2020: Death of a Lakeland Correction Facility Inmate Reported

Coldwater, MI – The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency (BHSJCHA) has been made aware of another death of a Lakeland Correctional Facility resident. “Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the family at the loss of their loved one,” states Rebecca Burns, Health Officer.

The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency (BHSJCHA) is reporting updated information on case counts in the tri-county area. The number of cases represents the total number of cases identified in each county (and LCF) since the beginning of the outbreak. It does not represent the number of cases that are considered completed in the disease course for COVID-19. The number of positive cases in the tri-county jurisdiction as of 3 pm today includes 28 cases in St. Joseph County, 113 cases in Hillsdale County, 49 cases in Branch County and 476 at Lakeland Correctional Facility in Branch County.

Counts by County 

  Branch County Hillsdale County St. Joseph County
# of Positive Cases 49 + 476* 113 28
# of Deaths 2 + ** 14 1

*Cases in Lakeland Correctional Facility (LCF)

**We are unable to accurately report this information at this time.

Updated testing criteria now allows for anyone with symptoms to receive testing as long as adequate testing supplies are available. In addition, increased access to testing can be found throughout Michigan Find a Testing Location in Michigan. As testing increases in Michigan the number of confirmed cases is likely to increase as well.  This is still the time to be vigilant about maintaining social distancing practices.

Total cases statewide today, from data compiled by MDHHS at 10 a.m. this morning and released at 3 pm, were 37,778 with 3,315 deaths attributed to COVID-19. BHSJCHA remains committed to thorough investigation and communication with all individuals affected by COVID-19. The staff at BHSJCHA adhere to the MDHHS guidelines for testing and follow best practices for contact tracing and strictly adhere to patient privacy as required by HIPAA.

BHSJCHA is asking anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 to get tested at a local testing facility and to self-isolate to prevent exposing others. Individuals that have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 need to self-quarantine for 14 days and monitor themselves for fever, cough, and shortness of breath. COVID-19 symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. Major symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

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

  • Stay Home. Stay Safe. Save Lives. in compliance with Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order
  • Wash their hands
  • Stay home when sick
  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • Avoid touching their face
  • Disinfect commonly touched surfaces
  • When you must go out for groceries and other necessary supplies; only those people absolutely needed for the task should go, others should stay
  • Keep six feet between yourself and others
  • Work from home if you are a non-essential worker

People who are concerned that they may have COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider and call ahead before visiting any healthcare facility. Mildly ill people are now encouraged to get tested. If you feel well, and are an essential worker who may have been exposed to COVID-19, you may also qualify for testing. Testing is determined based on risk assessment. Information about the COVID-19 situation locally, and in Michigan is rapidly changing. For more information, visit

BHSJCHA is committed to promoting wellness, preventing disease, providing health care, and protecting the environment. For additional information, contact your local health department office or visit and follow us on Facebook at

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