3/1/21: Positivity rate nearing 6% in Kalamazoo

Infection rates continue to rise. Hospitalizations experiencing a bump. Vaccination efforts are improving again.

Kalamazoo County: Positivity rates have been slowly increasing in Kalamazoo County for two weeks. On Valentine’s Day, an average of just 3.19% of COVID-19 tests conducted in the county returned positive results. That average increased to 5.86% as of Friday. That’s a worrisome sign suggesting that a surge in new infections may be on the horizon.

Already, new infection numbers are trending upward in the county. On Friday, county officials reported 36 new cases of COVID-19. That brought the seven day moving average to 27.9 new infections per day. The average has been mostly increasing since February 18.

County officials reported no new deaths from the coronavirus on Friday. The average remained stable at 0.29 new deaths per day over the previous week.

Michigan: New infections are rising in the state as a whole as well.

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On Friday, state health officials reported 1,073 new cases of COVID-19. On Saturday, they reported another 1,156 cases. The seven day moving average rose to 1,095 new cases per day. That average has been rising for a week now.

The state also reported one new death on Friday and 68 more on Saturday, with 62 of Saturday’s number coming after a review of previous death records. The average of new deaths is still mostly declining – standing at 23 deaths per day for the week ending Saturday – but if past is precedent, we will likely see a rise in new deaths in the coming weeks.

Variants: The CDC’s variant dashboard shows that Michigan now has 421 confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant of the coronavirus. That’s double what it was a week ago.

Michigan has the second most cases of confirmed variants in the nation, with Florida reporting nearly 600 cases. It’s important to note those numbers may be an undercount due to a lack of consistent genomic testing throughout the nation.

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Vaccines: Vaccination efforts are ramping up again in the state and county.

As of last Thursday – the latest day for which there was data – more than 2.1 million doses of vaccines had been administered in the state. Those numbers are expected to be bolstered in coming weeks following the approval of a new vaccine on Saturday.

As of Thursday, the state was administering roughly 42,000 doses of the vaccine per day. That’s still short of the 50,000 doses per day goal set for the state, but higher than the average from previous days.

Kalamazoo County was averaging 1,771 doses per day as of Thursday – the highest average the county has reached so far.

Nearly 25,000 people in the county have completed both doses of the vaccine, with another 17,000 having received just their first dose.

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