Berrien County COVID-19 Closure

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SERVICES, OPERATIONS, & PROCEDURES DURING CLOSURE

The following list represents the Berrien County continuity of operations plan under the conditions of reasonable staffing levels but not public access to public except by appointment. Does not include Trial Court (all divisions) and sheriff. (As of 18, 2020)

View the 03-20-2020 Press Release (PDF)

County COVID-19 Response Plan (PDF)

ANIMAL CONTROL

  • Phone Number: 269-927-5648 / after-hours call Dispatch
  • Email Address: animalcontrol@berriencounty.org
  • Website: Facebook or County website
  • Appointments must be made in advance with office staff.
  • Description of Services available during Emergency: 
    • High priority calls only.

GIS/LAND DESCRIPTION

PARKS AND RECREATION

  • Phone Number:  983-7111 Ext 8435
  • Email Address: parks@berriencounty.org
  • Website:  www.berriencounty.org/parks
  • No Public access to visitor centers, offices, or nature center.
  • Description of Services available during Emergency:  
    • Parks open with no access to buildings
    • See the Parks page of the website for access to County Parks

VETERANS

EQUALIZATION

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

  • Phone Number:  269-983-7111 ex 8617 
  • Email Address: commdev@berriencounty.org
  • Website:
  • No public access
  • Description of Services available during Emergency:
    • Starting Wednesday, March 18th, Berrien Bus will suspend all flex-route service throughout the County.  We will continue to provide demand-response service for essential needs including scheduled medical appointments, employment and grocery shopping.  Additional service changes may be implemented based on guidance from MDOT or County Health Officials.
    • We will continue to process home improvement/FHBLI loan programs.  Applications will be accepted by mail and email.
    • We will continue to receive and review local zoning applications.  Applications from local Planning Commissions should be sent by mail or email.  Review of such applications will be conducted administratively by staff.
    • We will continue to process business loan payments, PA 185 bond payments and vendor invoices.  Payments and invoices should be sent by mail and/or email.

ROAD DEPARTMENT

  • Phone Number: 269-925-1196
  • Email Address: Permit requests and permit questions: weighmaster@bcroad.org
  • Job openings and applications can be found on the County’s website: www.berriencounty.org/581/Employment;
  •  Website:  www.bcroad.org
  • No public access
  • Description of services available during emergency:  
    • Normal operations.  
    • Public is reminded that they may submit road service requests online through our website or by phone

PUBLIC DEFENDER (100 CHURCH ST, S/J)

  • Phone Number:  269-982-8693
  • Email Address: pjancha@berriencounty.org
  • Website: https://www.berriencounty.org/293/Public-Defenders-Office
  •  Public Access by Appointment Only
  • Edgewater Annex:  No public access
  • Description of Services available during Emergency: 
    • We will staff any arraignments, ongoing court proceedings with counsel appointed, that continue to be processed by the Trial Court. 
    • If there are no scheduled court appearances, but our office remains open to employees, our staff will continue to investigate and prepare cases to move forward once matters are rescheduled. 
    • We will remain available by telephone and email. 
    • If our office is directed to be closed, our attorneys will remain email available and continue, to the extent possible, to prepare our cases to move forward once matters are rescheduled.

HEALTH DEPARTMENT

In an effort to slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the Berrien County Health Department is altering several program and service operations to help encourage further social distancing. 

  • The Health Department offices and clinics in Benton Harbor and Niles remain open to the public, although all services are available by appointment only; walk-ins are no longer being accepted. 
  • The Three Oaks office is closed effective Tuesday March 17 at 4:00pm until further notice.

The following program operations changes are in effect as of March 17th:

  • Clinics are only accepting clients via appointment for immunizations, birth-control supply visits, and STD testing/treatment; walk-ins will no longer be accepted. Public Health Nurses are available via telephone for questions from clients.
  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) will continue client appointments, but will move to as many tele-health visits as possible and will authorize and/or extend benefits over the phone.
  • Water filters/replacement cartridges are still available for Benton Harbor residents to pick-up in office, but all distribution events are canceled. Residents can call 1-800-815-5485 (select option #2) to have a filter/cartridge mailed to them.
  • Home visiting services and Children’s Special Health Care Services are shifting to tele-health visits/consultations only.
  • All Hearing and Vision pre-school screenings are canceled through the end of April.
  • Unless otherwise noted, all community coalition meetings, events, classes, and other community gatherings are canceled until further notice.

All clients are asked to call to reschedule appointments if they are feeling ill. Any clients who are exhibiting symptoms may be asked to wear a facemask. Client appointments have been spaced throughout the day to maintain appropriate distancing for those visiting and working in the clinic.

As offices remain open, the public is encouraged to call with further questions about services that are available at this time. BCHD staff are working day and night to monitor this evolving situation with COVID-19 and will continue to provide new information to the community as things change. A hotline has been established to answer questions from the public at 1-800-815-5485 and more information can be found at the Berrien County Health Department website at www.bchdmi.org or by following BCHD on social media.

TREASURER’S OFFICE

  • Phone Number: 269-983-7111 x 8569
  • Email Address: treasurersoffice@berriencounty.org
  • Website: www.berriencounty.org
  • No public access
  • Description of Services available during Emergency:  
    • Respond to emails, payments can be made on line or at the drop box outside the administration center.

REGISTER OF DEEDS

  • Phone Number: 269.983.7111 ext 8562
  • Email Address: rod@berriencounty.org
  • Website: regofdeeds.berriencounty.org
  • No public access
  • Description of Services available during Emergency: 
    • Both paper and electronic documents will continue to be processed as received. 
    • A drop-box is available for paper documents outside of the Administration Building located at 701 Main Street, St. Joseph.

DRAIN COMMISSIONER

COUNTY CLERK – VITAL RECORDS

  • Phone Number:   (269) 983-7111  Ext. 8233
  • Email Address:  vitalrecords@berriencounty.org
  • Website:  www.berriencounty.org                          
  • No public access
  • Description of Services available during Emergency:
    • All vital record orders can be done online/phone from the County Clerk’s Page on our website through Vitalchek or sent in by regular mail.  The phone number for Vitalchek is:1(888)243-0055
    • Renewal CPL Applications (only) can be done online at the Michigan State Police website:  www.michigan.gov/cplrenewal
    • DBA/Co-Partnership forms can be printed off the County Clerk’s page on our website and sent in by mail after being notarized.
    • We will still be filing death records electronically from the funeral homes and can issue certified copies through Vitalchek or by mail.
    • Emergency marriage license applications are by appointment only by calling (269) 983-7111 ext. 8233. They will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
    • A drop box is available outside the Administration Building for:
      • Original birth records for filing.
      • Vital record requests (mail instead of mailing them in)
      • Payments for copies

GENEALOGY

MSU EXTENSION

  • Phone Number: 269-927-5674
  • Email: styburs1@msu.edu
  • Fax: 269-944-4128
  • Website:  https://www.canr.msu.edu/berrien
  • No public access
  • Description of Services available during Emergency:   
    • All face to face programs have been postponed, cancelled or modified to an online format. 
    • In order to follow the directive of social distance by closing the office to the public, Berrien County residents can still get assistance from MSU Extension by contacting the office via phone, email or website or by contacting individual staff members.

TRIAL COURT

ADMINISTRATION/BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS/CORPORATE COUNSEL 

HUMAN RESOURCES

  • Phone Number: 269-982-8616
  • Fax Number: 269-983-5788
  • Email Address: sjasper@berriencounty.org
  • Descriptions of Services available during Emergency:
    • Employment applications will still be accepted via email to bsteltner@berriencounty.org, drop box at the Administration Center, 701 Main St., St. Joseph, or fax.

PURCHASING/FINANCIAL SERVICES

  • Bid Inquiry Phone Number: 269-983-7111, ext. 8020
  • All other Finance Inquiries Phone Number: 269-983-7111, ext. 8916
  • Email Address: djames@berriencounty.org
  • Description of Services available during Emergency:
    • Financial Services will continue their processes.
    • Bids are still being accepted and can be left in the drop box at the Administration Center, 701 Main St., St. Joseph.

SHERIFF’S OFFICE RECORDS DEPARTMENT

  • Mailing Address: 919 Port St., St. Joseph, MI 49085
  • Phone Number: 269-983-7141, ext. 7211
  • Fax: 269-982-8650
  • Email Address: sdrecords@berriencounty.org
  • No public access
  • Descriptions of Services available during Emergency:
    • Pistol Sales Records and licenses to purchase can be mailed when they are completed and the gun has been purchased.
    • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests along with most requests for information can be handled by mail, fax, or email. Responses will be returned to the requestor in the same manner as received.
    • General questions may be asked by phone Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.