11/15/20: 8,516 new COVID cases Friday, 7,072 Saturday

The state continues to break infection records as positivity rate rises. Deaths continue to rise. COVID infects state lawmakers. Kalamazoo experiences new cases, deaths. WMU infections increase.

Michigan: State health officials reported a record 8,516 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and another 7,072 on Saturday. That brings the seven day moving average to 6,288 new cases per day – a number never before seen in the state.

The state also reported 118 new deaths from the coronavirus on Friday and 65 on Saturday. Of the Friday report, 83 came from a review of previous death records. Another 36 of Saturday’s number were from death records.

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Kalamazoo County: County officials reported 165 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. That brings the county’s average to 141 new cases per day over the past seven days.

The county also reported three new deaths from the virus on Friday. Kalamazoo County is averaging about one death per day.

WMU: Western Michigan University reported 75 new COVID-19 infections during the first three days of last week. That’s the highest number the university has seen during that time period since September and indicates infection rates are rising again on campus.

Hospitalizations: The state reported 3,241 people were being cared for in Michigan hospitals for COVID-19 on Friday. That’s an increase of more than 800 from a week earlier. Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo reported a record 61 COVID-19 patients on Friday. Kalamazoo’s other hospital doesn’t publicly report patient numbers.

Positivity Rate: The state’s positivity rate continued its ascent on Friday, rising to an average of 13.21%. It’s nearly 10% higher than it was a month earlier and indicates transmission of the virus is quickly getting out of control.

At the same time, the number of people being tested for the virus is growing. A record 73,332 COVID-19 tests were conducted in Michigan on Thursday, with another 71,170 being conducted on Friday.

Kalamazoo County’s average positivity rate has dropped slightly. On Friday, it was 13.33% – still higher than health experts want, but lower than the 13.86% it was several days earlier.

Infected Legislators: Three state lawmakers have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week. State Senator Kim LaSata, R-Bainbridge Township, reported she had tested positive on Friday. That follows State Representatives Scott VanSingel, R-Grant, and Ann Bollin, R-Brighton. State Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, tested positive earlier this month.

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