2/16/21: Most of Michigan moved to lower COVID risk designation

The Kalamazoo region is still in the highest risk category while new infections continue to drop. Hospitalizations fall below 1K. The county and state are running low on vaccines.

Michigan: State health officials have downgraded most of the state to a lower risk level.

For much of the winter, the entire state has been classified as Risk Level E according to the state’s MI Safe Start Map. That meant that all areas were at the highest risk of transmitting the coronavirus. As of Tuesday, most areas have been reclassified to Risk Level D.

The Kalamazoo Region – including most of southwest Michigan – is not one of the areas that has been downgraded. The Lansing and Jackson regions remain at Level E as well.

The risk designation is based on positivity rates and average new infection numbers as a percentage of population.

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The state as a whole is continuing to see declining rates of new infections.

State health officials reported 775 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. That brought the seven day moving average to 898 new cases per day.

The state also reported 19 new deaths from the coronavirus, bringing that average down to just over 30 new deaths per day.

Hospitalizations dropped below 1,000 people on Monday for the first time in four months. The state reported just 957 people being treated for COVID-19 on Monday as hospitalizations continued a two month decline.

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Kalamazoo County: Despite the Kalamazoo Region’s designation as Risk Level E, Kalamazoo County itself is classified as Risk Level D based on transmission rates and other measures of COVID-19 in the area.

County officials reported 55 new cases of the coronavirus over the course of the past four days. The county didn’t release numbers yesterday due to the Presidents’ Day holiday. Kalamazoo is averaging just under 19 new cases per day over the past seven days.

The county reported no new deaths over the past four days, bringing the seven day moving average to 0.2 deaths per day.

Vaccines: The state and Kalamazoo County both continue to administer vaccines at an unprecedented rate even as supplies of those vaccines run low.

In Michigan, more than 1.6 million doses of the vaccine have been administered so far. That’s almost 3/4 of the doses that facilities have on hand.

In Kalamazoo County, the ratio is almost as dire. County facilities have administered more than 50,000 doses of the vaccine – more than 70% of the supplies that have been made available so far.

County health officials say they are distributing vaccines almost as fast as they get them, and have amassed a waiting list of tens of thousands of people who would like to be inoculated as soon as possible.

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