1/21/21: COVID deaths pass 14K

New cases continue to decline ... slowly. Hospitalizations drop below 2K. Kalamazoo County deaths rising again. County workers vaccinate record number.

Michigan: More than 14,000 people in Michigan have now died from the coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic.

State health officials reported 148 new deaths on Thursday, with 128 of them coming from a review of previous death records. That pushes the statewide total to 14,053 deaths so far since March.

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At the same time, the state’s average daily death totals seem to be rising again. The seven day average on Thursday was 54.43 deaths per day – slightly higher than it was on Wednesday. It’s a small increase, but reverses what had been a steady decline in deaths for nearly two weeks.

The state also reported 2,165 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. That brought the seven day moving average down to 1,901 new cases per day – the lowest it’s been since late October.

Coronavirus hospitalizations in the state dropped below 2,000 for the first time since the beginning of November. On Thursday, there were 1,907 people being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals in the state – 170 fewer than on Wednesday. The state’s hospitalization numbers have been mostly going down since the beginning of December.

Kalamazoo County: Average new case numbers continue to decline as new coronavirus deaths rise again in Kalamazoo County.

On Thursday, county officials reported 40 new cases of COVID-19. That brought the county’s seven day average down to roughly 46 new cases per day.

At the same time, the county reported four new deaths from the virus. That brought the county’s average up to 2.29 deaths per day over the past week. The average death number has fluctuated a lot over the past few weeks – hitting a high of nearly four deaths per day on January 7 before dropping below one death per day just a week later.

In brighter news, the county’s COVID-19 hospitalizations seem to be declining. On Thursday, Bronson Methodist Hospital reported 17 coronavirus patients. Ascension Borgess Hospital reported just 20 patients. Both are the lowest counts since early fall. Both hospitals are operating at less than 90% capacity.

Vaccines: Kalamazoo County has inoculated a record number of people so far this week.

The state’s Vaccine Dashboard reports that more than 4,000 people had been vaccinated in Kalamazoo County in the first three days of the week. That corresponds with a push by the county health department to vaccinate 3,000 people age 65 and older by the end of the week.

In the rest of the state, vaccination efforts seem to be moving at much the same speed as they have been. As of Wednesday, nearly 600,000 doses of the vaccine had been administered, with more than 98,000 having received both doses of the vaccine.

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