1/17/21: COVID cases and deaths continue to decline in state and county

COVID measures reach lowest levels in months. Hospitalization numbers are stalling. Vaccination rates are increasing slowly.

Michigan: State health officials reported 2,598 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday and 1,932 cases on Saturday. That caused the state’s seven day moving average to decline to 2,350 new cases per day. It’s the lowest average of new cases in Michigan since October 27, and a hopeful sign that infection rates are returning to a more sustainable level.

The state also reported 29 deaths from the coronavirus on Friday and 103 on Saturday, with 90 of Saturday’s number coming from a review of previous death records. Michigan’s COVID deaths have also declined significantly over the past week. The seven day moving average on Saturday was 64 deaths per day, which is more than a third less than it was a week ago.

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The state’s positivity rate is another hopeful sign. On Saturday, the state reported just over 6% of COVID-19 tests came back positive. That’s the lowest positivity rate since late October when Michigan was on the upswing of a fall surge of infections.

The state’s COVID hospitalization numbers, which have been on the decline for almost two months, seem to be stalling. The state reported 2,222 people were being treated for COVID-19 in Michigan on Saturday. That’s just 16 fewer than the day before and suggests the number of daily patients is leveling off.

Kalamazoo County: Like the state, Kalamazoo County is experiencing a significant decline in COVID-19 stats. Officials reported 52 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the county’s seven day average to about 60 new cases per day. That comes after a brief spike in new infections following the holidays.

Kalamazoo County also reported one new death from the virus on Friday. Deaths in Kalamazoo have dropped considerably over the past week. Just over a week ago, the county was averaging nearly four deaths per day – the highest average on record. On Friday, that number had dropped to 0.9 deaths per day.

Kalamazoo’s positivity rate has also declined. As of Friday, an average of 7.27% of COVID-19 tests were coming back positive each day. It’s still higher than the 5% state officials have targeted as a criteria for reopening the economy, but it’s lower than it has been.

Vaccinations: More than 406,000 doses of vaccine have been administered in Michigan as of Thursday. On that day, a record 25,613 inoculations were conducted, with nearly 3,000 of them being people’s second dose.

In Kalamazoo County, 13,414 doses of vaccine have been administered as of Thursday. More than 2,600 people have recieved both doses of the vaccine. Expect those numbers to increase significantly over the next week as county facilities expand access to the COVID-19 vaccine to people in Phase 1B of the state’s distribution plan.

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