12/28/20: 3,239 new COVID cases Sunday and Monday, 60 deaths

New cases and deaths are dropping. So are hospitalizations and positive tests. But there could still be a Christmas spike on the horizon.

Michigan: State health officials reported 3,239 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and Monday. That marks a further decline in new infection numbers for Michigan. The seven day moving average dropped to 2,444 new cases per day, the lowest it’s been since late October.

After rising to frightening levels for several weeks, the state’s daily coronavirus death count is also declining. The state reported 60 deaths over the course of Sunday and Monday, bringing the average down to 80 deaths per day.

Health officials warn that there could still be a spike in both new infections and deaths following the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holidays. We likely wouldn’t see those spikes until the second week of January.

Or a surge in new infections might not happen. Health officials warned of a possible surge following Thanksgiving, but that never happened. That’s likely because people took more precautions over that holiday, combined with state orders that shut down many gathering places.

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Kalamazoo County: County health officials reported 318 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. That number covers the five days since Christmas Eve last week. The county’s average dropped to about 60 new cases per day – the lowest number since October 8.

The county also reported six new deaths over the same time period. That brings the county’s average down to 1.29 deaths per day over the past week.

Hospitalizations: As of Monday, there were 2,811 people being treated for COVID-19 in Michigan hospitals. That is nearly 300 fewer than the last time the state reported numbers on December 23. Hospitalization numbers have been consistently declining for almost a month, dropping from a high of 4,087 on November 24.

Hospitalization numbers are also declining in Kalamazoo County, though not as dramatically.

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Bronson Methodist Hospital reported 33 COVID-19 patients on Monday, putting it at 84% capacity. It’s the first time the hospital has been below 90% capacity since the beginning of the month.

Ascension Borgess Hospital reported 35 coronavirus patients on Monday, putting it at 75% capacity. It’s difficult to assess how much that hospital’s COVID patient count has fluctuated because it doesn’t publicly report numbers except through the state’s biweekly assessment.

Vaccines: Nearly 59,000 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in Michigan as of Sunday. The majority of those vaccines have come from Pfizer so far, though a vaccine from Moderna is gaining distribution throughout the state. Both vaccines require two doses scheduled several weeks apart.

The state doesn’t break down vaccination numbers by region, but as of Monday, 9,275 doses of vaccine have been distributed to Kalamazoo County. More than 278,000 vaccines have been distributed throughout the state so far.

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