12/22/20: 3,082 new COVID cases, 173 deaths

New infections and death averages continue to decline in Michigan and Kalamazoo County. Hospitalizations are also declining slowly in Michigan, but remain level in Kalamazoo County. Nearly 2/3 of Michigan counties below 10% positivity.

Michigan: State health officials reported 3,082 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. That’s higher than the past two days, but lower than any other total since late October. The seven day moving average continues to decline, reaching 3,396 new cases per day on Tuesday.

The state also reported 173 deaths from the coronavirus on Tuesday, with 72 of those coming from a review of previous death records. The state’s seven day death average dropped slightly to 110 deaths per day. That’s still worryingly high.

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Kalamazoo County: County health officials reported 68 new infections in Kalamazoo on Tuesday. The county’s seven day average declined to 74 new cases of COVID-19 per day, which is the lowest average since October 29.

The county also reported three new deaths on Tuesday. Kalamazoo is averaging 2.86 deaths per day over the past week, which is lower than recent days, but still worryingly high.

Hospitalizations: Michigan’s COVID-19 hospitalization number dropped by 23 on Tuesday to 3,156 people. The state’s hospitalization rate has been declining steadily since December 1.

Kalamazoo County isn’t so lucky. Only one hospital publicly reports patient numbers regularly, but it showed a sharp uptick on Tuesday. Bronson Methodist Hospital had 42 coronavirus patients on Tuesday, six more than the previous day.

Positivity Rates: Positivity rates are declining across the state. On Tuesday, 52 counties in Michigan reported positivity rates below 10%, which is a hopeful trend. Kalamazoo County was not one of them.

Kalamazoo County reported 10.12% of COVID-19 tests on Monday returned a positive result. On average, the county has a 7.8% positivity rate over the past week. That’s still higher than the 5% health officials would like to see in order to justify reopening the economy.

Statewide, 9.77% of COVID-19 tests returned positive results on Monday.

Vaccines: Nearly 27,000 people in Michigan have been vaccinated for COVID-19 as of Monday. Of those, 32 received their first doses of the newly approved Moderna vaccine.

So far, nearly 167,000 vaccines have been shipped out to repositories at hospitals and health departments throughout the state. That’s a short of what state health officials were expecting to receive.

Due to a “miscommunication” from federal officials, Michigan will only receive 120,900 doses of vaccine this week – not the 257,600 doses it had been told it would receive.

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