3/18/21: New variant cases discovered

No new deaths in Michigan, as new infections continue to rise. A quarter of state residents have now been at least partially vaccinated.

Variants: New cases of the B.1.1.7 variant of the coronavirus have been discovered in Michigan, including at Michigan State University.

As of Tuesday, state officials reported 725 cases of the variant, which is 50% more contagious than dominant strains in Michigan. The cases of the variant have grown by more than 100 in just the past week.

Michigan: The state reported no new deaths from the coronavirus on Wednesday – the first time that’s happened since last summer.

At the same time, health officials reported 3,164 new cases of COVID-19 – the first time since January the daily toll has been higher than 3,000.

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The state is averaging 2,073 new cases per day over the past week. That average has been growing steadily for more than three weeks leading experts to worry we’re in the beginning of a third wave of the pandemic.

Kalamazoo County: New cases of the coronavirus are growing in Kalamazoo as well.

County officials reported 71 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the seven day average up to 51 new cases per day. That average has been rising for one month.

Vaccines: More than a quarter of Michigan adults have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

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As of Tuesday, more than 3.2 million doses of vaccine had been administered, with almost 1.2 million residents having been fully inoculated against the virus that causes COVID-19.

In Kalamazoo County, 29% of the adult population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. More than 34,000 residents have been fully vaccinated.

Daily vaccination totals are on the rise as well, with the state inoculating an average of 62,000 people a day and the county administering shots to more than 2,100 people each day.

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