2/21/21: Michigan has 13% of variant cases in U.S.

Vaccination efforts slow as supplies run low. Kalamazoo County's positivity rate is rising again.

Variants: Michigan is now home to 13% of the cases of the B.1.1.7 variant of the coronavirus in the U.S. State labs have discovered 210 cases of the so-called U.K. variant in Michigan so far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s more than double what the number was a week ago, though tracking is still slow.

State labs have also confirmed new cases of the variant in two prisons – in Macomb and Jackson counties. That comes after 90 cases were discovered at an Ionia County prison last week.

Health officials worry that the more contagious variant could lead to a spike in new COVID-19 infections in the state.

Vaccines: Daily vaccination numbers are dropping in Michigan and Kalamazoo County as new shipments of the vaccine are declining.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

On Thursday, just 38,474 doses of the vaccine were administered in Michigan, bringing the seven day average to about 35,000 doses per day. One week earlier, there were more than 68,000 vaccinations in Michigan.

The state is coming close to using up dwindling supplies of the vaccine. As of Thursday, facilities all over Michigan had used 77% of the supplies that have been delivered.

Kalamazoo County facilities have also used up about 77% of the supplies delivered so far. Severe weather delayed shipments to the county last week meaning county facilities have received no new supplies since the previous weekend.

Still, the county is averaging about 1,500 inoculations per day over the week ending Thursday.

We won five Michigan Press Association awards, thanks to you!

Click here to see which ones

Michigan: New infections and deaths continue to drop in Michigan.

State health officials reported 1,193 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and another 635 on Saturday. That brought the seven day moving average to 814 new cases per day.

The state also reported 23 new deaths on Friday and 63 on Saturday, with 57 of Saturday’s total coming from a review of previous death records. The state is averaging just about 30 deaths per day over the week ending Saturday.

Kalamazoo County: Infection numbers in Kalamazoo County are rising again, as is the county’s positivity rate.

On Friday, county health officials reported 48 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the seven day average up to 21 new cases per day. There were no new deaths on Friday and the average remained steady at 0.3 deaths per day over the previous week.

Meanwhile, the county’s average positivity rate is inching back up after nearly reaching 3% last week. Of the 779 tests conducted in Kalamazoo on Friday, 5.26% returned positive results. That caused the seven day moving average to move up to nearly 4%.

Support local. Donate today to Kalamazoo's only locally owned and independent daily news organization.