4/20/21: New outbreak at Portage schools

Hospitalizations reach new high. COVID deaths rise as new infections begin to fall.

Outbreaks: Outbreaks of COVID-19 have risen another 9%, according the latest report from the state. And that includes a new outbreak at a school in Portage.

Portage Central High School is already home to an ongoing outbreak that has sickened 41 people since March 8 – both students and staff. On April 19, the state reported a new outbreak that has infected three students at the school.

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Portage’s Central Elementary is also the source of an ongoing outbreak, as is a daycare in Portage, Western Michigan University, and Kalamazoo College.

In all, more than 300 schools in Michigan are experiencing some sort of ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus.

Michigan: Deaths from the coronavirus are rising, even as new infections seem to be subsiding.

State health officials reported 61 new deaths from COVID-19 on Sunday and Monday. That caused the seven day average to move up to 55.6 deaths per day. The average is seven more than on Saturday, and the number has been rising in fits and starts for most of the past month.

At the same time, the average of new infections is falling. The state reported 8,574 new infections on Sunday and Monday. That caused the seven day average to fall to 6,598 new cases per day. The average topped out at more than 7,000 infections per day a week ago and has been mostly declining since then.

The state’s positivity rate continues to decline, as it has done for the past week and a half. On Sunday, 13.24% of COVID-19 tests conducted in the state returned positive results. That’s a decrease from the 17.9% reported on April 6.

Hospitalizations have rocketed back up, reaching their highest level ever during the pandemic. On Monday, the state reported that 4,422 people were being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals in the state. That’s an increase of 213 from Friday’s number.

The number of children being treated for the coronavirus has also peaked at 64 patients.

Kalamazoo County: Almost all of Kalamazoo County’s COVID-19 metrics declined a bit over the weekend.

County health officials reported 265 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. That brought the seven day average down by 20 to 129 new cases per day.

The county reported two new deaths from the coronavirus over the weekend, bringing the week average down to one death per day.

The county’s positivity rate has been declining for several days. On Sunday, 14.9% of COVID-19 tests conducted in the county returned positive results. That’s a little higher than on Saturday, but the week average has declined 3% since last Tuesday.

One metric hasn’t improved. Hospitalizations have actually gotten a lot worse in Kalamazoo.

Both of Kalamazoo County’s hospitals reported they were treating a combined 121 COVID-19 patients on Monday. That’s more than a dozen more than they reported last Thursday. And both hospitals report they are operating at more than 90% capacity.

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