1/25/21: School-based outbreaks rising again

New cases and deaths rise slightly in Michigan. Kalamazoo County transmission rate falls as deaths climb.

Outbreaks: We’re three weeks into January and the number of school-based coronavirus outbreaks are rising again.

State officials reported that last week 92 students and school staff members contracted COVID-19 in K-12 schools and administrative offices throughout the state.

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New outbreaks at Michigan schools declined to almost nothing during the two weeks they were on break in December. Once classes got back into session January 4, new infections began inching back up. But last week the infections more than doubled.

None of the affected schools are in Kalamazoo County. Two colleges – Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College – are still considered to be battling ongoing outbreaks stemming from the fall.

Michigan: State health officials reported 3,011 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and Monday. That caused the state’s seven day moving average of new infections to rise for the first time in two weeks. The state is counting 1,815 new infections per day over the past week.

The state also reported 35 new deaths from the coronavirus over the course of Sunday and Monday. That caused the state’s average of new deaths to rise to nearly 72 deaths per day on Monday.

Meanwhile, hospitalizations dropped significantly over the weekend. The state reported 1,668 people being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals in Michigan on Monday – 175 fewer than on Friday.

Kalamazoo County: The average of daily new infections in Kalamazoo County has reached its lowest rate since last summer, while the average of deaths from the coronavirus remains high.

County officials reported 98 new cases of COVID-19 over the course of Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. That brought the county’s seven day average down to almost 41 new cases per day.

At the same time, the county counted ten new deaths from the coronavirus over the course of the weekend. The county is averaging 2.7 deaths per day over the past week, which is higher than it has been recently, and very high compared to averages from most of last year.

Hospitalizations continue to decline in Kalamazoo County. On Monday, Bronson Methodist Hospital reported 20 patients being treated for COVID-19. While the hospital reported it was operating at 93% capacity, the raw number of coronavirus patients is low compared to most of the fall. Ascension Borgess Hospital reported it was treating 17 patients for COVID-19 on Monday.

Vaccines: Michigan and Kalamazoo County received an influx of new vaccines over the weekend. Overall, the state reported delivery of more than 380,000 doses of vaccine – most of them coming from Moderna. Kalamazoo County received nearly 10,000 new doses of vaccine.

The state is making headway toward the governor’s stated goal of vaccinating 50,000 people per day. As of Sunday, Michigan was averaging 32,682 doses of vaccine administered per day over the previous week. That’s the highest average the state has reached so far.

Kalamazoo County is also seeing results from its increased vaccination efforts. As of Sunday, the county is averaging 1,410 vaccinations per day over the previous week.

In total, more than 23,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered in Kalamazoo County, with 4,618 people having received both doses.

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