First COVID-19 death in county reported

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY — The first death of a St. Joseph County resident attributed to COVID-19 was reported by the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency (BHSJ) Monday.

According to sources, the victim was an adult male.

"Today we report the first death of a St. Joseph county resident to COVID-19," BHSJ Health Officer Rebecca Burns said. "We extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends. This is a tragic reminder of how serious a threat this virus is to our community and why it is so important to maintain social distance from others at this time."

Two other deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Hillsdale County were also reported Monday.

The number of positive cases in BHSJ’s three-county jurisdiction as of 3 p.m. Monday includes 21 cases in St. Joseph County, 77 cases in Hillsdale County, 29 cases in Branch County and 55 at the Lakeland Correctional Facility in Branch County. Thirteen deaths in the area have been attributed to the virus as of Monday.

Total cases in Michigan as of Monday, according to data compiled by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services at 10 a.m., were 25,635 with 1,602 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

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

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