1/7/21: We may be seeing holiday spike in COVID

COVID case numbers and deaths are rising again in Kalamazoo and Michigan. Kalamazoo reaches highest death average of pandemic.

Michigan: We may be seeing a Christmas surge of COVID-19. The state reported 4,015 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the seven day moving average to 3,088 new cases per day. It’s a small boost of 146 cases, but may portend rising case numbers to come.

The state COVID death numbers are also rising. Health officials reported 176 deaths on Thursday, with 138 coming from a review of previous death records. That boosted the state’s average from about 84 deaths per day on Wednesday to 96 deaths per day on Thursday.

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Kalamazoo County: Kalamazoo County reached its highest ever average death count on Thursday. County health officials reported five new deaths on Thursday, which brought the seven day average to 3.93 deaths per day.

The county’s new infection numbers are also rising. The health department reported 122 new cases of the virus on Thursday, bringing the average up to almost 86 cases per day over the past week.

Hospitalizations: Despite the rise in cases and deaths across the state, hospitalizations continued to decline on Thursday. The state reported 2,578 people being treated for COVID-19 in Michigan hospitals – 79 fewer than the day before.

Kalamazoo County hospitalization numbers remain stubbornly high. Bronson Methodist Hospital reported 31 COVID-19 patients on Thursday, but is still at 92% capacity despite a modest decline in patients. Ascension Borgess Hospital reported 37 COVID-19 patients and is at 87% capacity.

Vaccines: State officials reported there had been a record number of vaccinations in Michigan on Wednesday. Nearly 25,000 people received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, bringing the statewide total to almost 175,000 people since the vaccines first became available.

Still, the rate of vaccinations is moving slowly in Michigan due to a number of factors. Currently, only 24% of available vaccines have been used in Michigan.

Vaccinations are moving slowly in Kalamazoo County as well. So far only 6,773 vaccines have been administered. That’s just about a third of the vaccines that have been delivered to facilities in the county so far, according to the state’s Vaccine Dashboard.

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