2/15/21: State finds more COVID variants

New infection numbers continue to fall. No new data in Kalamazoo County due to holiday. Nearly 15% of Michigan adults have received the vaccine.

Variants: State health officials have now identified 67 cases of the B.1.1.7 strain of the virus that causes COVID-19. They emphasize that there are likely more cases out there than we know about due to a lack of testing.

The majority of the cases found have been in Washtenaw County, where the first cases were discovered in January. Four cases have been found in Kalamazoo County.

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Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that she predicts the B.1.1.7 variant could become the dominant strain of the virus in the U.S. by the end of March.

Michigan: Meanwhile, new cases of the “normal” strain of the coronavirus are dropping in Michigan.

State health officials reported 1,265 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and Monday. That caused the seven day moving average to decline to 867 cases per day. The average has been below 1,000 cases per day for five consecutive days.

The state also reported 8 new deaths from the coronavirus. The seven day average of deaths fell to 36.29 new deaths per day.

Kalamazoo County: County health officials did not update COVID numbers on Monday due to the Presidents’ Day holiday.

Vaccines: Nearly 15% of the adult population of Michigan has received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. That comes as the state is still trying to reach a stated goal of inoculating 50,000 people per day.

As of Sunday, more than 606,000 people have received the first dose of the vaccine, while another 514,000 have gotten both doses. The state is averaging about 44,000 vaccinations per day.

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