3/22/21: State positivity rate passes 7%

New infections hit highest number in 9 weeks. Death numbers finally beginning to rise. A freezer malfunction led to a mass vaccination event in Kalamazoo over the weekend.

Michigan: A month ago, we were very close to hitting a 3% positivity rate in Michigan. Then infection numbers started to rise and the positivity rate took a sudden u-turn.

In the week ending Friday, an average of 7.39% of COVID-19 tests were returning positive results, marking a reversal of fortune for the state.

State health officials reported 3,730 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and another 2,660 on Saturday. That pushed the seven day average to 2,482 cases per day on Saturday. It’s the highest that number has been in nine weeks.

In another reversal of fortune, death numbers have begun rising in the state as well. On Friday, the state reported 15 deaths from the coronavirus. They reported another 47 deaths on Saturday, with 39 of those deaths coming from a review of previous vital records. That caused the seven day average to rise to 17.57 deaths per day on Saturday. The average has risen from just below 15 deaths per day last Wednesday.

Kalamazoo County: County health officials reported 101 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. That’s the highest single-day number since January 8. The seven day average rose to 56 new cases per day.

At the same time, the county again reported no new deaths from the coronavirus. Only one person has died from the virus in the past week.

But Kalamazoo County’s positivity rate is still rising, reaching it’s highest average in more than two months. In the week ending Friday, an average of 8.12% of COVID-19 tests conducted in the county returned positive results. That shows the pandemic is far from over, even as vaccination rates increase.

Vaccines: Vaccination efforts were aided by a surprise freezer malfunction in Kalamazoo County over the weekend.

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On Saturday, a vaccine clinic in Kalamazoo’s Northside neighborhood was upended when a freezer full of the Moderna vaccine stopped working. That meant they had to get rid of hundreds of doses of the vaccine. The announcement went out through social media and word of mouth resulting in lines around the block. We won’t know how many people were vaccinated until reports come out later this week.

State vaccination efforts are breaking records. On Thursday, the state reported a record 102,000 inoculations. That resulted in an average of almost 64,000 doses of vaccine being administered per day in the week leading up to that day.

As of Thursday, 27.1% of Michigan adults had received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

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