3/8/21: 2.5M vaccine doses administered

New COVID infections rising. New cases of variant discovered. Hospitalizations dip back down.

Vaccines: As of Thursday, more than 2.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Michigan. Yet, there is still much more to do.

The state’s vaccine dashboard reports that 11.1% of Michigan residents age 16 and older have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

Meanwhile, the state is actually hitting its targets for daily vaccinations. In January, Governor Gretchen Whitmer suggested the state could administer 50,000 shots per day. Last week is the first time the state has actually hit that number on average.

In Kalamazoo County, more than 48,000 people have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. However, limited supplies mean there is a backlog of people waiting to be vaccinated. That is hampering efforts to expand vaccine availability to new groups identified by state officials.

Variants: As of Sunday, 437 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant of the coronavirus had been discovered in Michigan. That’s according to the CDC’s variant dashboard.

The increase is less than is expected due to the variant’s increased virulence and suggests the state is not doing enough to track its spread. Experts recommend states do gene sequencing on 5% of COVID-19 samples in order to keep tabs on the variant. Michigan is currently sequencing less than 2%.

Michigan: New cases of the coronavirus continue to rise in the state.

State health officials reported 1,486 new cases on Friday and another 1,289 cases on Saturday. That increased the seven day moving average to 1,210 cases per day. The average of new infections has been rising for two weeks straight.

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The state also reported ten new deaths on Friday and 56 on Saturday, with 48 of Saturday’s number coming from a review of previous death records. The average of new deaths is not rising, but remaining flat at about 21 deaths per day. But it is expected deaths will begin to increase in the coming week in line with earlier increases in infection rates.

Meanwhile, hospitalizations are decreasing again. The state reported that 866 people were being treated for COVID-19 on Friday. That’s 24 fewer than the previous day.

Kalamazoo County: New cases of COVID-19 were flat for most of last week.

County officials reported 80 new cases of COVID-19 across Thursday and Friday of last week. That brought the seven day average to almost 32 new cases per day as of Friday. That’s close to where it was during most days last week.

The county reported no new deaths due to the coronavirus and the average of deaths was steady at 0.3 deaths per day.

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