COVID-19 Updates

Check here regularly for updates on COVID-19. Check the Centers for Disease Control, state of Michigan, Kalamazoo County and Western Michigan University for their response to coronavirus. This map helps people find meals for kids while schools are closed.

As of April 2, there were 10,791 confirmed cases in the State of Michigan with 417 deaths.  There are 34 cases in Kalamazoo County with one death; 25 cases in Calhoun County; 40 in Berrien County with one death; 12 in Van Buren County with one death; five in Allegan County; eight in St. Joseph County; six in Cass County with one death; and four in Barry County. There are also 125 cases and two deaths in Kent County, and 35 in Ottawa County. The state updates coronavirus cases daily at 3 p.m. 

Find updates below on cases of the disease as well as closings, cancellations and other actions to prevent its spread. 

(Thursday, April 2)

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has suspended in-person instruction for public and private k-12 schools for the remainder of the school year. The governor's executive order calls for the Michigan Department of Education and other groups to develop a distance education plan. Governor Whitmer says students and school districts will NOT be penalized for lost school days. She says schools are expected to come up with at-home learning plans. But she says the state will not set rules on what should be in those plans.

(Wednesday, April 1)

A fourth WMU student has tested positive for COVID-19. University officials say the student had been living in an apartment on campus until March 24 when they returned to their home outside of Kalamazoo County.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order expanding the state's emergency declaration in response to COVID-19. The governor's order also declares a state of disaster. 

The City of Kalamazoo has canceled yard waste pick-ups until further notice. It can be dropped off at the Best Way Transfer Station, 2606 Miller Road.

(Tuesday, March 31)

Kalamazoo Metro Transit will suspend regular bus route service effective April 2nd through at least April 13th. Metro Connect service will be offered for vulnerable populations and essential workforce. 

Western Michigan University says classes for its summer session I will be offered through distance education. WMU suspended in person instruction March 11th. 

Attorney General Dana Nessel is warning Michigan residents to beware of scammers claiming to be from at least two health departments. 

The city of Portage has postponed its Spring Cleanup of unwanted household items. The city says the indefinite postponement is to comply with Governor Gretchen Whitmer's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order. 

Kalamazoo County Treasurer Mary Balkema says she is working to ensure people don't lose their property to tax foreclosure because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order that extends the deadline for paying delinquent property taxes. Balkema says her office has started offering other ways to connect, such as video conferencing. She says more grants are being made available for homeowners struggling with paying property taxes. 

(Monday, March 30)

Michigan schools could be closed for the rest of school year. Bridge reports that Governor Gretchen Whitmer is expected to sign an executive order this week to keep public and private K-12 schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Update: In an interview with Rick Pluta for public radio stations in Michigan, Whitmer says plans for schools in the state are still being finalized. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and legislative leaders have agreed on a plan to provide another $150-million in response to COVID-19. A joint statement says $80-million in line item vetoes were made to the supplemental budget so the money could be spent in response to the Coronavirus. 

Governor Whitmer has also signed an executive order suspending hiring and limiting discretionary spending by state agencies. 

(Sunday, March 29)

WMU announced that one of its students who was not living in Kalamazoo has died after contracting COVID-19.

(Saturday, March 28)

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order changing the date for filing state and city income tax returns to July. Another executive order from the governor directs clerks to plan for most ballots to be cast by mail for the May 5th election. 

President Donald Trump has approved a disaster declaration for the state of Michigan. It makes federal funding available for crisis counseling in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Gretchen Whitmer requested the disaster declaration this week. 

(Friday, March 27)

Western Michigan University announced that three of its students have tested positive for COVID-19.

Some Western Michigan University students are eligible for partial credits for housing, meals plans and parking permits.  Residence halls are closed on campus and academic studies are being done remotely.

The state is expanding food assistance benefits and waiving some requirements during the crisis.

State parks are cutting back on amenities including vault toilets and bathroom buildings, though there are plans to replace those with portable toilets in some places.

Businesses can apply for state relief through a new grant and loan program.

Bronson Healthcare is closing all Bronson FastCare locations, effective 8:30 p.m. Friday, March 27, to prevent potential COVID-19 exposure to patients and staff. It suggests contacting physicians online or by calling (269) 341-7788.

The Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department is changing the hours of operation for its COVID-19 call center that answers questions by the public and health care providers. It will now operate Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on the weekend from 8 a.m. to noon. The call center is "option one" at (269) 373-5200.

Kalamazoo County Sheriff Rick Fuller released the following statement about enforcement of the state's stay-at-home order: "The Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office will enforce Executive Order 2020-21 as complaints are received. Communication, education, warnings, and monitoring will be used during the initial phase of any investigation. Any enforcement action would be taken after all other efforts have met with noncompliance. The Kalamazoo County Prosecutor's Office will review ongoing willful violations of this executive order, which may result in prosecution." 

(Thursday, March 26)

Kalamazoo County now has ten cases of COVID-19. One of them is a Public Safety officer in the City of Kalamazoo. The department said Thursday that the officer was exposed to the corona virus while off-duty. Public Safety officials say the department is following guidelines set by state and local health agencies. Earlier this week, Kalamazoo County officials say a deputy in its Sheriff's Department had also contracted the disease.

The first case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Cass County. The Van Buren/Cass District Health Department says there are two cases in Van Buren County 

Berrien County has declared a local state of emergency in response to the Coronavirus. A news release from Berrien County says "With this declaration  the Berrien County Emergency Operations Center will continue to operate and support the efforts of the Berrien County Health Department and Spectrum Health Lakeland and add to the response resources already committed to dealing with this pandemic response." 

Kalamazoo County is reporting seven cases of COVID-19. The county's Department of Health and Human Services says 96 tests have been submitted to the state. In addition to the seven positive results, 56 have come back negative. Results are pending for the other 33. Update The state's numbers released later Thursday show a total of ten cases in Kalamazoo County

(Wednesday, March 25)

Two more cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Kalamazoo County. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says there are a total of five confirmed cases in Kalamazoo County. 

Kellogg Community College has extended its closure of all campus facilities through April 13th. KCC is now scheduled to reopen April 14th. 

The first positive test for COVID-19 in Van Buren County has been confirmed. The Van Buren/Cass District Health Department says the woman in her 60s is in stable condition and self-isolating at home. 

(Tuesday, March 24)

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s “stay at home” order has delayed the start of the city of Portage’s quarterly brush pick up in April. Portage’s Department of Public Works says it will begin April 13th. The spring cleanup of unwanted household items is still scheduled to begin April 20th.  

The Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department has detailed the services that will continue during the stay-at-home order.

Three patients at two state psychiatric facilities have tested positive for coronavirus. Two of the cases are in Westland and one is in Saline.

The City of Portage plans to delay its April brush pickup by a week.

The Kalamazoo Marathon and Borgess Run for the Health of It have been canceled. The events were scheduled for the first weekend in May. 

(Monday, March 23)

Michigan's attorney General says her office has received more than 1,400 complaints of price-gouging during the COVID-19 crisis. Dana Nessel says she's sending a team of special agents to investigate them. 

Metro Transit is offering free service on all bus routes beginning Tuesday. Passengers will be asked to board and leave busses from the back to limit contact with the driver. Metro Transit says frequent cleaning continues on all busses.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued a stay-at-home order to help slow the spread of COVID-19. It prohibits businesses from conducting work that does not "sustain or protect life." But it includes exceptions for critical infrastructure workers and employees who are deemed essential by employers. People can still go to grocery stores, doctor appointments, gas stations, pet stores, pharmacies and other necessary trips. They can also  go outdoors to walk and exercise as long as they stay at least six feet apart. See the link above for details. The order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 24 and runs through April 13.

The state has extended the closure of all K-12 schools by one week to April 13.

The Kalamazoo Board of Education meeting scheduled for Thursday, March 26, has been canceled. 

The Portage School Board has canceled its scheduled meeting on March 23.

Retailers and distributors have stopped accepting returns of soda and other drink containers during the outbreak.

The Portage City Council will hold a "virtual" meeting on Tuesday, March 24, at 7p.m. Residents can watch it on cable access TV or online, and they will be able to ask questions and make comments in real time.

All Michigan Secretary of State branch offices will be closed, effective Tuesday, March 24. In-person and mail transactions are suspended. Online services continue but there may be delays in processing.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says her office will mail absentee ballot applications to all voters where there are local elections on May 5.

Michigan state parks remain open however all campgrounds, cabins, and shelters are closed because of the "stay at home" order.

(Sunday, March 22)

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered hair and nail salons, spas, massage services, and tattoo parlors to close because of the pandemic.

Battle Creek Transit says its busses are offering fare-free rides during the pandemic but it's discouraging people from making unnecessary trips. Also, riders should board busses from the rear door except for people with disabilities who need to use the ramp. Seats next to bus drivers are blocked off to give drivers "social distance" during the outbreak.

(Saturday, March 21)

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order requiring hair, nail and tanning salons to close temporarily. It also includes spa, massage and tattoo services. The executive order goes into effect 9:00a.m. on Sunday March 22nd and remains in effect through April 13th at 11:59p.m. 

The first death in West Michigan related to Coronavirus was reported Saturday night. Spectrum Health said the man in his 70s died at one of its hospitals. The Detroit Free Press reports its the eighth death in Michigan because of COVID-19. 

Bronson Healthcare is looking for donations of some new and unused items in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bronson says it will begin accepting donations on Monday March 23rd at five sites in the region. A list of the items Bronson will accept can be found here. 

Kalamazoo County Health officials are calling on volunteers who sew to make and donate masks to prepare for coronavirus in the county. There are instructions for how to produce masks. 

Kalamazoo Public Schools is closing the administration building to the public effective Monday March 23rd. 

The Urban Democracy Feast scheduled for March 28th in Kalamazoo has been canceled. 

(Friday March 20)

Western Michigan University is closing its residence halls and extending "distance education" through the end of spring term. WMU president Edward Montgomery also says spring commencement, scheduled for April 25th, has been postponed.

The Kalamazoo Public Schools administration building will close to the public on Monday, March 23. Office staff will work and answer calls 8am to 4pm Monday through Friday. People with appointments already scheduled should call to confirm them. Letters of Intent can be dropped in the mail slot at the building's side entrance. Information on the district's Grab and Go meal distribution.

The City of Kalamazoo has closed all of its facilities to the public, including the Department of Public Safety, effective Monday, March 23. City parks remain open but playgrounds and picnic pavilions are closed effective Friday, March 20.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered hospitals and clinics to stop all but "essential" medical procedures. Emergency, trauma, dialysis, and other critical services are not affected. Dentists have been ordered to close except for dental emergencies. 

(Thursday March 19)

The city of Kalamazoo says it has restored water service to all customers who were delinquent on payments to the city. The city has passed a moratorium on water shutoffs due to the Coronavirus pandemic, they are also restoring service to customers who had their water shut off. 

The Small Business Administration is offering low-interest loans to businesses in Michigan that have suffered economically because of the coronavirus. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is reporting another 256 cases of COVID-19 in the state. The numbers released Thursday include test results from commercial and clinical labs. It resulted in a big jump in total cases of the coronavirus in Michigan, it’s now at 334 (Note the number has been revised earlier Thursday the number was 336). Wednesday the state reported 80 cases. 

Kellogg Community College will resume classes online on Monday March 23rd. All KCC campuses were closed at noon March 18th and are scheduled to reopen Monday April 6th.  

Kalamazoo County does not have a confirmed cases of COVID-19. The county's Health and Community Services Department says 41 tests have been submitted to the state. 15 are negative for coronavirus. Results are pending for the other 26 tests. 

(Wednesday March 18) 

The first death in the state was reported Wednesday. The man in his 50's died at a Beaumont Hospital in Wayne County. 

The Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo has suspended all public masses beginning Friday March 20th through Palm Sunday, April 5th. 

Lake Michigan College campuses will be closed beginning Friday March 20th through April 13th. 

Glen Oaks Community College has closed its campus until 

All Kellogg Community College campuses will be closed as of noon on Wednesday March 18th. They will remain closed through April 5th. 

(Tuesday March 17) 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says there are now 65 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. 11 new cases were announced Tuesday. Of the 65 confirmed cases, the state says 25 of them have been hospitalized. Another eight are unknown. Most of those cases are in Southeast Michigan. Five confirmed cases are in Kent County and one is in Ottawa County.

Two Michigan Department of Corrections probation agents have tested positive for the coronavirus, one in Jackson County who had recently traveled internationally, and one in Detroit, who had not recently traveled domestically or internationally.

Kalamazoo County Court buildings are closed to the public. 

A group called Kzoo Covid-19 Mutual Aid is collecting names and contact information from people in the Kalamazoo area who would like to help with, or could use help with, childcare, transportation, food, emotional support and other needs.

The City of Springfield is closing city hall until April 12, suspending water shutoffs and temporarily suspending residential building inspections.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is canceling some meetings. Others will go forward in a limited way.

The DNR is also closing field offices and customer service centers, though in some cases agents will be available by appointment. Many permits can be requested online.

The Michigan Department of Transportation says private passenger vehicles eastbound on the Blue Water Bridge to Canada will not be able to pay in cash starting Wednesday. The Federal Bridge Corporation Limited says it will not accept cash from any private vehicles on the westbound side of the bridge, beginning Wednesday.

Attorney General Dana Nessel says people need to watch out for coronavirus scams.

Bronson Healthcare is canceling all elective surgeries effective Wednesday March 18th. Ascension Borgess is also canceling elective surgeries.

(Monday March 16)

Cancellation or postponement is now the default for many events in Michigan, after an executive order by Governor Gretchen Whitmer will prohibit indoor gatherings of more than 50 people. This excludes gatherings in health care facilities, workplaces not open to the public, shopping, mass transit, or activities related to agricultural or construction work. The executive order takes effect on Tuesday, March 17 at 9 am.  

Governor Whitmer's closure off all bars and restaurants in Michigan by 3 p.m. on Monday, March 16 remains in effect. Take-out service can continue, 

Some institutions have also closed or scaled back services. WMUK is working to keep the following list of closures and cancelled events up-to-date. If you don't see your event here, you may wish to check the organization's website.

  • Western Michigan University has suspended in-person education through April 3rd. Classes will resume online on Monday, March 16. The university will re-evaluate by March 27th. University libraries are closed as are Lawson Ice Arena,  the Student Recreation Center, West Hills Athletic Club, and other fitness facilities. All student dining is take-out only.
  • Kalamazoo College has suspended in-person classes and will move to online instruction for the rest of the spring term. Only international students will be allowed to stay in residence halls; all others must leave by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18.
  • The Kalamazoo Public Library has cancelled all programs and closed on March 14.
  • No visitors will be allowed at Bronson hospitals except under special circumstances.  
  • The City of Kalamazoo has closed all of its facilities to the public except the Public Safety Department. Staff will continue to report to work and will be available to assist residents via phone, email, and assisting with online services. Residents can reach the City of Kalamazoo for assistance by dialing 3-1-1 or calling (269) 337-8000. All "non-essential" public meetings, including advisory boards and commissions as well as public input sessions on proposed changes in the city's civil rights ordinance and recreational marijuana are canceled through March 31.
  • The City of Portage has closed all of its buildings to the public. Residents are encouraged to handle business by phone, email, or regular mail. Residents can watch City Council meetings on cable TV or online. City offices will continue to operate, but with reduced staffing levels. Public Safety (police and fire) operations will continue without interruption.
  • All City of Battle Creek facilities will close to the public at 5 pm on Tuesday, March 17, for regular business. Facilities closures will be in place through Friday, April 3. City residents are encouraged to use online payment options, or the drop box in the parking lot of City Hall.  The City Committee will still hold its regular meeting on Tuesday evening, March 17 at City Hall, with agendas limited to business necessary to move city processes forward. Additionally, the city has suspended water shutoffs, however the City will continue to provide essential services.
  • Battle Creek Transit will operate on regular service hours -- fixed-route buses, Tele-Transit, and BCGo -- during the city's upcoming facility closures; the Transit main lobby will be closed to the public. Passengers who need to submit reduced-fare or ADA applications can do so through fax at 269-966-3652, or email at Passengers who need to purchase bus passes should call 269-966-3474 for more information.
  • Calhoun County and Court offices and facilities, including the Justice Center, will be closed to the public starting Tuesday, March 17. County government operations will continue with employees critical to providing essential services and functions. Government operations are scheduled to resume in full on Monday, April 13, subject to future evaluation.
  • The Portage Senior Center is closed until further notice.
  • The Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine has cancelled events through April 3rd.
  • Kalamazoo Valley Community College has suspended face-to-face instruction. KVCC is moving coursework to virtual, tele-learning, online or alternate methods of instruction. In-person instruction will resume on April 6.
  • The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is closed effective Monday, March 16, reopening on Monday, April 6.
  • The Kalamazoo Nature Center has closed its visitors center and DeLano Farm and has canceled all public programs (school tours will be handled on a case-by-case basis) but is waiving admission fees for people who want to use its trails.
  • First Congregational Church in Kalamazoo has canceled in-person worship services for the next three weeks and will stream them online.
  • Senior Services of Southwest Michigan offices are closed but Meals and Wheels and home care services will continue. 
  • The Portage District Library has canceled all events and public use of meeting rooms until further notice.
  • That Golden Girls Show: A Puppet Parody at WMU's Miller Auditorium originally scheduled for March 19 has been postponed. Miller Auditorium says decisions about canceling or rescheduling performances by touring shows are at the discretion of the producers.
  • The Chocolate, Wine, and Jazz event at Lake Michigan College's South Haven campus scheduled for March 14 has been canceled.
  • Ministry With Community in Kalamazoo has canceled its "Chefs Against Hunger 2020" event that had been scheduled on March 24.
  • Glen Oaks Community College in Centreville is canceling in-person classes and moving to online instruction only, beginning Monday, March 16, and running through April 12.
  • The Kingman Museum in Battle Creek is closed through the end of March.
  • The public performances for All Ears Theatre of “The Adventures of Pinocchio” on March 21 and “Sometime in June” on April 4 are suspended. The shows will still be recorded and aired on WMUK 102.1 FM as planned.
  • The 2020 Gilmore International Keyboard Festival in Kalamazoo has been canceled; ticket holders have the option of refunds, credits for future festivals, or donating to the festival.
  • The Kalamazoo Institute for the Arts will close Monday, March 16, through April 3.
  • Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek says all in-person classes will be "transitioned to other formats" from March 16 to March 20. All campus events are canceled through May 15, including the annual commencement ceremony. KCC announced it is also canceling the remainder of its baseball season.
  • The W.K. Kellogg Biological Station has canceled or postponed scheduled events through April 20, except for a volunteer recruitment meeting for Manor House.
  • The Franke Center for the Arts has postponed a Joe Louis Walker concert that was scheduled for March 28 and the "Wood Maiden show" that was scheduled for March 31. It has canceled an event with Gilmore Young Artist Maxim Lando. (The Gilmore Festival is also canceled.)
  • Kalamazoo County's government will close all 16 of its buildings to the public beginning at 5 p.m. March 16. Kalamazoo County commissioners will meet as scheduled on March 17 but residents will have to watch them on cable TV or online. The following county services remain open: Area Agency on Aging, health clinics (limited services), Environmental Health, WIC (appointment only), and the Veterans Service Office (appointment only).
  • Social Security Administration offices will be closed to the public effective March 17. Business should be conducted online or by phone.