2/11/21: COVID deaths pass 15K

The number of new cases have dropped 86% since the peak of the pandemic. Vaccination efforts reach new highs.

Michigan: Deaths attributable to COVID-19 passed an important threshold on Thursday. More than 15,000 people in Michigan have now died from the virus.

State health officials reported 76 new deaths from the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the cumulative total to 15,052 deaths since the pandemic began 11 months ago. However, daily death numbers have declined in the past month. The seven day moving average stands at just 39 deaths per day, down from 108 deaths per day on January 9.

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The state also reported 1,284 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. That’s an increase from previous days which totaled fewer than 1,000 new cases per day. Despite that, the seven day average dropped below 1,000 per day for the first time in four months. That’s 86% less than during the peak of the pandemic in November.

Hospitalizations have also continued to decline in Michigan. On Thursday, there were 1,061 people being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals in the state. That’s more than 1,300 fewer than a month ago.

Kalamazoo County: New case numbers continue to decline in the county.

On Thursday, officials reported 25 new cases of the coronavirus and one death. Over the past week, the county has averaged just 21 new cases and less than one death per day.

Compared to the population of the county, transmission rates are the lowest they’ve been since the beginning of September. On Wednesday, the county had just 5.17 new cases per 100,000 people. According to a metric developed by the Harvard Global Health Institute, Kalamazoo County is in the second lowest level of community transmission of the virus.

Hospitalizations are also declining in the county, though not to a comfortable level just yet. Bronson Methodist Hospital is reportedly operating at 91% capacity despite having 23 coronavirus patients on Thursday. Their patient count is slightly higher than it was a week ago. At the same time, Ascension Borgess Hospital reported 16 coronavirus patients, putting them at 77% capacity – the lowest it’s been in more than two weeks.

Vaccines: State efforts to vaccinate residents against the coronavirus have risen dramatically in recent weeks.

As of Tuesday, the state is averaging more 44,000 inoculations per day, coming ever closer to the governor’s stated goal of administering 50,000 vaccines per day. That’s almost 10,000 more vaccinations per day than the state was managing two weeks ago.

As of Wednesday, more than 600,000 Michiganders have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, with more than 422,000 having received both doses.

Kalamazoo County is also seeing dramatic increases in vaccination numbers.

On Wednesday, county facilities administered a record 2,466 doses of vaccine. As of that day, more than 16,000 people have received the first dose of the vaccine, with another 14,000 having received both doses.

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