3/16/21: Hospitalizations surge

New infections reach highest level in six weeks. However, deaths remain low.

Michigan: The number of people being treated for COVID-19 in Michigan hospitals surged past 1,000 over the weekend.

State officials reported 1,095 people hospitalized for the coronavirus on Monday. That’s almost 100 more than on Friday. It’s another sign that COVID-19 is not abating, and is in fact worsening.

State health officials also reported 3,143 new cases of COVID-19 over the course of Sunday and Monday. That pushed the seven day average up to 1,795 new cases per day.

The positivity rate in the state is also increasing. On Monday, 7.09% of COVID-19 tests returned positive results. The seven day average is nearing 6% after almost reaching a low of 3% in February.

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Despite all the bad news, deaths continue to be low. The state reported nine deaths on Sunday and Monday. The state is averaging just 16 deaths per day over the past week.

Kalamazoo County: The situation is similar in Kalamazoo. On Monday, 34 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 in one of the county’s two hospitals. That’s two higher than it was during the last report on Thursday of last week.

County officials reported 109 new cases of COVID-19 over the course of Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. That pushed the county’s average to 47 new infections per day over the past week.

The county’s average positivity rate is over 7% and rising. Over the past week, an average of 7.17% of COVID-19 tests returned positive results.

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However, no new deaths have been reported in 11 days. It’s suggested that rising vaccination rates, especially among the elderly, are leading to declining death rates.

Vaccines: The state has administered more than 3 million doses of coronavirus vaccines since the first ones became available in December. More than 1.1 million residents are fully vaccinated – having either received both doses of one of the two-shot vaccines, or one of the one-shot vaccine.

In Kalamazoo County, more than 93,000 doses of vaccine have made it into people’s arms. Nearly 34,000 people have been fully inoculated against the coronavirus.

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