12/17/20: New cases drop, deaths rise

New COVID case counts continue to decline in the state and county, while deaths continue to increase. Hospitalizations are also decreasing at the state level, but not in Kalamazoo County. More than 1K vaccines have been administered in Michigan.

Michigan: State health officials reported 4,024 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. New case counts have been declining steadily for several weeks now. The seven day moving average is 4,234 new cases per day – the lowest number since November 7.

At the same time, coronavirus deaths continue to mount. The state reported 190 deaths on Thursday, with 125 of them coming from a review of previous death records. The state is averaging 116 deaths per day. Michigan has been hovering around that daily death average since the beginning of December.

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Kalamazoo County: Kalamazoo’s new COVID-19 case counts are declining again after rising for a couple days. The county reported 67 new infections on Thursday putting the seven day average at 81 new cases per day for the past week.

The county also reported six new deaths from the virus on Thursday. Kalamazoo is averaging almost four deaths per day, the highest level since the pandemic began.

Hospitalizations: Hospitalizations continue to decline statewide, with 3,395 people being treated for COVID-19 in Michigan hospitals on Thursday. That’s 176 fewer patients than on Wednesday.

Kalamazoo County isn’t having the same good fortune. Bronson Methodist Hospital reported 35 coronavirus patients on Thursday, and Ascension Borgess Hospital reported 46 coronavirus patients. Both numbers are close to where they’ve been for the past week and both hospitals report being above 90% capacity.

Vaccines: More than 58,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed to sites throughout the state as of Thursday, according to the state’s Vaccine Dashboard. It shows 3,900 of them have been delivered to locations in Kalamazoo County. Of those, 2,925 were delivered to Kalamazoo’s two hospitals, which immediately began giving them to staff.

The dashboard doesn’t breakdown vaccination numbers by area, but already 1,078 people have received the vaccine in Michigan.

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