12/3/20: 7,146 new COVID cases, 175 deaths

COVID death average passes 100 per day. Positivity rate is almost 16%. Hospitalizations decline for third day in a row statewide.

Michigan: State health officials reported 175 new deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday. Of those, just 63 were in the previous 24 hours – the rest came as a result of a review of previous death records. Nonetheless, the state’s seven day moving average rose to nearly 105 new deaths per day.

The state’s chief medical executive warned last month that deaths could surpass 100 per day by the end of the year. We’ve reached that with 27 days to spare.

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Deaths are a lagging indicator, which means the current fatalities can be traced back to a surge of new COVID-19 infections two or more weeks ago. Health officials issued new coronavirus restrictions two weeks ago and are hoping to see deaths, hospitalizations, and other COVID-19 measures decline as a result.

The state also reported 7,146 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. While higher than recent days, the seven day moving average still declined slightly to 6,712 new cases per day.

Kalamazoo County: County officials reported 131 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the county’s average to 148 new cases per day. The county also reported two new deaths from the virus. The county has experienced an average of 1.5 deaths each day for the past week.

Hospitalizations: Michigan’s COVID-19 hospitalization number declined for the third day in a row. On Thursday, hospitals were caring for 4,175 coronavirus patients – 91 fewer than the day before.

In Kalamazoo, Bronson Methodist Hospital reported it had 42 COVID-19 patients, putting it at 91% capacity. Kalamazoo’s other hospital doesn’t publicly report patient numbers.

Positivity Rate: Michigan’s positivity rate rose significantly on Thursday – nearly 16% of COVID-19 tests came back positive. That’s more than two percentage points higher than the previous day and a worrying number considering the nearly 60,000 coronavirus tests conducted in the state during the time period. The state is averaging a 13.8% positivity rate, which well above the 5% target the state set during the summer as a prerequisite for reopening the economy.

Kalamazoo County’s positivity rate was 14.1% on Thursday. The county is averaging about 1,300 COVID-19 tests per day with a 12.8% positivity rate.

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