2/2/21: State’s positivity rate dips below 5%

Kalamazoo County's positivity rate is below 6%. Case numbers and deaths drop. County increasing vaccination efforts.

Michigan: The state’s average positivity rate reached 4.95% on Monday. That’s the lowest it’s been since mid-October, when the state was still in the early stages of the fall surge of the coronavirus.

The positivity rate is a measure of the percent of COVID-19 tests that return a positive result. State health officials last summer targeted 5% positivity or less as a prerequisite for reopening the economy. Michigan stayed below that for the entire summer before the rate rose into the double-digits in November.

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State health officials reported 1,203 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. That brought the seven day moving average to 1,422 new cases per day. That’s just slightly less than the day before, indicating that new infections are flattening out, albeit at a still-high number.

Officials also reported 63 new deaths from the coronavirus on Tuesday, with 36 of them coming from a review of previous death records. The state is averaging about 38 deaths per day over the prior seven days.

Kalamazoo County: The county’s positivity rate is also looking promising, though its decline is somewhat slower than the state’s overall.

On Monday, Kalamazoo County had an average positivity rate of 5.66%. However, Kalamazoo’s average has been hovering around 6% for most of the past two weeks, so a decline below 5% may still be a long way off.

County health officials reported 37 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. That brought the seven day moving average down to about 34 new cases per day.

The county also reported one new death from the coronavirus. That brought the week average down to 1.29 deaths per day. That number is lower than it has been in the past week, but it’s also a number that has vacillated a lot in the past month.

Vaccines: As of Monday, the state is averaging about 35,000 vaccinations per day over the prior week. The state is struggling to reach an average of 50,000 doses administered per day. Michigan did reach a record 53,447 doses administered just about a week ago, but isn’t close to hitting that level on a consistent basis.

The Kalamazoo County health department is seeing the results of its push to get more people vaccinated. The department reported it had administered nearly 2,000 doses of the vaccine over the course of last week. Of course, there are still thousands more who are eligible to be inoculated who are still on waiting lists.

The county overall has administered nearly 32,000 doses of the vaccine since they first became available in December. Of that, 7,466 have received both doses of the vaccine.

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