12/14/20: COVID rates still high, but heading the right direction

New infections are declining in Michigan and Kalamazoo County. So are hospitalizations. But fatality numbers are still high and rising.

Michigan: State health officials reported 7,205 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and Monday. That’s a steep decline over previous weeks that have seen numbers more than twice that. The seven day moving average was 4,800 new cases per day, dropping below 5,000 for the first time in over a month.

Despite the promising new infection trend, the state continues to count high numbers of deaths from the virus. On Monday, the state reported 90 new deaths putting the average at 115 deaths per day over the past week.

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Kalamazoo County: Infection and death trends in Kalamazoo County reflect those at the state level. On Monday, county officials reported 188 new cases of COVID-19 across the three days. That brings the seven day average down to 82 new cases per day, the lowest average in the county since the end of October.

At the same time, Kalamazoo County reported 11 new deaths from the coronavirus between Saturday and Monday. That brings the average to more than three deaths per day – the highest it has ever been since the pandemic began.

Hospitalizations: As new infection numbers fall, so have hospitalizations. The state reported 3,802 people being treated for COVID-19 on Monday, a decline of more than 300 from a week earlier.

Despite that, Kalamazoo County hospitals remain close to capacity. Bronson Methodist Hospital reported 24 coronavirus patients on Monday, putting them at 93% capacity. Ascension Borgess Hospital had 47 coronavirus patients and was at 86% capacity.

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