12/30/20: 4,222 new COVID cases, 51 deaths

COVID cases are rising again in Michigan and Kalamazoo County. Positivity rates and hospitalizations are decreasing. The state has used about a quarter of available vaccines.

Michigan: State health officials reported 4,222 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. That’s higher than the daily total in recent days and has led to a slight bump in the state’s daily average. The seven day average increased to 2,602 new cases per day.

At the same time, the state’s daily death numbers have been decreasing. The state reported 51 new deaths from the coronavirus on Wednesday, decreasing the average to 80 deaths per day over the past week. Deaths are a lagging indicator, meaning we could see an increase in deaths in a couple weeks related to today’s increase in infections.

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Kalamazoo County: Kalamazoo County also experienced a slight bump in new infections on Wednesday. County health officials reported 77 new cases of COVID-19 – the highest new case count since mid-December. That increased the county’s average to 62 new cases per day over the past week.

The county reported no new deaths on Wednesday.

Hospitalizations: The state’s COVID hospitalization numbers declined after increasing slightly on Tuesday. On Wednesday, there were 2,758 people being treated for COVID-19 in Michigan hospitals – 148 fewer than the day before.

In Kalamazoo County, hospitalizations also decreased. Bronson Methodist Hospital reported 38 coronavirus patients on Wednesday – five fewer than the previous day.

Positivity Rates: The proportion of people testing positive for COVID-19 has dropped below 10% in both Kalamazoo County and the State of Michigan. Beyond that, the actual rates have been variable.

Michigan’s average positivity rate was 8.24% on Tuesday, dropping from a high of 13.4% in mid-November. The state’s positivity rate has been hovering around 8.25% for several days now.

Kalamazoo County’s average positivity rate was 9.12% on Tuesday, but that number has been increasing for more than a week – up from 7% on December 22.

Vaccinations: More than 86,000 initial doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Michigan as of Tuesday. The majority of those have been the Pfizer vaccine, which was the first to be approved for emergency use.

In Kalamazoo County, 4,326 people have received their first doses of the coronavirus vaccine. Most of those have been health care workers at Bronson Methodist Hospital.

As of Tuesday, only about a quarter of the vaccines available in the state have been given to people. Part of the difficulty may be issues with planning when doses will be delivered to distribution facilities. There also may be problems with having enough trained staff to administer the vaccines.

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