BENTON HARBOR — Berrien County health officials announced Friday, Jan. 22, they are ready to start recruiting volunteers to help with COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

Volunteers will help with upcoming clinics and/or support vaccine distribution efforts. Both clinical and non-clinical roles are available and prior health care experience is not necessary for all roles.

Non-clinical volunteers may be asked to assist with scheduling, check people in, screen people as they arrive, assist with signing consents, or provide wayfinding. Clinical volunteers may be asked to administer the vaccination, scribe, or observe people post vaccination.

Volunteers may be contacted by either the Berrien County Health Department (BCHD) or Spectrum Health Lakeland, depending on current volunteer needs.

Volunteer shift times are flexible, but volunteers should be able to commit to at least 20 hours of service per month with a minimum of a three-hour shifts, though four- to six-hour shifts are preferred.

Some volunteer shifts may take place outdoors and/or require standing for extended periods of time.

All volunteers must be 18 years of age or older, may be subject to a background check and will be required to complete additional documentation and training prior to volunteering.

For more information, and the volunteer sign-up form, visit bchdmi.org/COVID19, or spectrumhealthlakeland.org/COVID19.

Completing the form does not guarantee a volunteer role, nor is it an application for employment.

Vaccine update

As of Sunday, Jan. 24, Berrien County had distributed 9,164 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with about 800 of those being second doses, according to state figures. That’s an additional 3,220 vaccines given since the previous Sunday.

Case update

COVID-19 hospitalizations at Spectrum Health Lakeland continued to fall, with the hospital system reported having 22 patients admitted Monday morning, Jan 25, down from 40 patients the previous week.

Berrien County recorded 106 new COVID-19 cases and five additional COVID-19 deaths over Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Jan. 23-25. The county had recorded 119 new cases the weekend before.

All five deaths were people over the age of 60, according to the county’s COVID-19 data dashboard. This brought the county’s confirmed death toll to 196.

Contact: anewman@TheHP.com, 932-0357, Twitter: @HPANewman

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