MECOSTA, OSCEOLA COUNTIES — Despite concerns of domestic violence increasing as more people are stuck inside due to stay-at-home and social distancing orders, local counties have not yet seen an increase in these crimes.

Mecosta County Sheriff Todd Purcell said that although the department is keeping an eye on how the situation develops, personnel have not seen a drastic uptick in calls to date.

"We really haven't seen a rise in domestic cases yet," he said.

Jane Currie, executive director for Women's Information Services, Inc. (WISE), said the concerns about domestic violence cases increasing at times like this stem from people being cooped up inside for long periods of time, combined with the fear, stress and uncertainty being caused by the coronavirus.

"We are hoping people understand we are all under stress and we are hoping calm people will prevail," she said.

Although Currie and local law enforcement are hoping domestic cases continue to stay under control, Currie said WISE remains operational despite other business and organization closures across the country.

WISE provides crisis intervention and other support services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Mecosta, Osceola and Newaygo counties.

"We are an essential service under state guidelines, and we are providing services daily," she said.

Currie said that while staff are not meeting with clients on a face-to-face basis due to health and safety concerns, they still are assisting with safety planning and providing other help to people over the phone and online. She said the crisis line also still is up and running.

Along with providing different support services, Currie said WISE's 19-bed shelter continues to be used by women and families. However, she said the shelter currently is at capacity and a wait list is in place.

In the meantime, she said staff members are trying to help those in need of housing to find safe and affordable places to live.

Currie said staff at the shelter are doing everything they can to keep the space clean and safe, including daily cleaning and social distancing from each other as much as possible.

"We're in pretty good shape and pleased we can offer our services to the community," she said.