First confirmed case of coronavirus reported in St. Joseph County

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY — A confirmed case of coronavirus in St. Joseph County was officially reported Sunday afternoon by the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency (BHSJ).

According to BHSJ, the first confirmed case in St. Joseph County came from an adult male who the health agency said has been self-isolating at home.

“We were not surprised today to have a positive case in St. Joseph County, based on work our staff has been doing over the past two weeks,” Rebecca Burns, BHSJ Health Officer, said in a statement. “We ask that everyone follow the Stay Home, Stay Safe order to minimize transmission of this virus and to protect their families.”

Burns added in an e-mail to the Commercial-News late Sunday that they will not be releasing the municipality of where the case originated.

According to the state of Michigan, there have been 5,486 total cases in Michigan as of Sunday, with 132 deaths reported. A total of 836 new cases were reported Sunday, with 21 new reports of deaths.

The first death from the virus in the counties BHSJ covers was reported Saturday in Hillsdale County. The individual was an elderly male with underlying health conditions from Hillsdale County who was hospitalized at Hillsdale Hospital.

Health officials remind people with symptoms of COVID-19 to self-isolate for 14 days to avoid potentially exposing others. And for individuals that have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, 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. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

To prevent the spread, health officials say people should follow Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order, wash their hands, stay home when they’re sick, practice social distancing, and avoid touching their face.

Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 23 or

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