Kalamazoo’s top 3 worst COVID days were in the past week

Kalamazoo County has seen unprecedented numbers of COVID infections in the past few days. That suggests a spike in deaths in the next two weeks.

Kalamazoo County hit a record number of COVID-19 infections on October 31. That day, 107 people began to feel the symptoms of the coronavirus. The county broke that record three days later with 120 infections. It broke that record again on Wednesday with 125 infections.

As COVID-19 counts rise beyond levels ever seen in the county, health officials worry about what may be to come.

The effects of the coronavirus tend to follow any spike in new cases. That means the we could see a surge in the hospitalizations and deaths within the next two weeks.

Already, Kalamazoo County is experiencing an increase in COVID-19 deaths. There were three deaths reported on Tuesday, three on Monday, and five last Friday. As of Wednesday, Kalamazoo County had a seven day moving average of 1.7 deaths per day.

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The surge in new cases raises questions about the ability of medical centers to deal with an onslaught of COVID-19 patients. Bronson Methodist Hospital on Monday reported a record number of coronavirus patients – 37. It has since surpassed that with 41 patients as of Wednesday. Kalamazoo’s other hospital doesn’t publicly report its patient numbers.

Kalamazoo County epidemiologist Mary Franks said it’s not too late to bring numbers back under control.

“Right now is not the time to let down your guard when it comes to basic measures such as mask wearing, hand washing and social distancing,” she said. “Yes, we are seeing a higher transmission rate and higher percent positivity rate for testing in the county, but remaining vigilant and reducing your exposure and practicing the aforementioned basic measures is the best way to protect yourself and your family.”

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