4/22/21: State passes 17K deaths, 800K infections

Variant infections rise by 34%. Half of Kalamazoo is partially vaccinated.

Michigan: The state passed two grim milestones on Wednesday. More than 17,000 people have now died from COVID-19, and more than 800,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus.

State health officials reported 5,584 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the pandemic total to nearly 805,000 cases. Despite that, the seven day average continues to decline, reaching 5,744 new cases per day.

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At the same time, the state reported 45 new deaths from the coronavirus, bringing that total to 17,031 since March 2020. The seven day average continued to rise on Wednesday, to almost 59 deaths per day over the past week.

Hospitalizations dropped by nearly 200 on Wednesday. The state reported that 4,153 people were being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals in the state. The hospitalization rate seems to be on the decline after spiking over the weekend and climbing for nearly two months.

Kalamazoo County: Infection rates declined slightly on Wednesday in Kalamazoo County.

Health officials reported 113 new cases of COVID-19, causing the seven day average to drop a bit to 121 new cases per day. No new deaths were reported and the average death toll remained at one death per day over the previous week.

Variants: The number of variants of the coronavirus has increased by 34% in Michigan in the past week, and now includes two new variants not seen before in the state.

In their weekly status update on Tuesday, state health officials reported that labs have confirmed 3,455 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant in Michigan. Cases of the P.1 and B.1.351 variants rose to 26 and 15 respectively.

The state has also confirmed 78 cases of a pair of new variants. The B.1.427 and B.1.429 variants are closely related and thought to be more contagious than previous strains. They are commonly referred to as “the California variant” because of where they were first discovered.

Vaccines: More than half the adults in Kalamazoo County have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

In Wednesday’s report, the state indicated that nearly 111,000 people in the county had received a first dose of the vaccine. In total, nearly 82,000 people, or 38.2% of the adult population, has been fully inoculated.

Vaccination rates are a little lower across the state, but still rising. The state reported that more than 6 million doses of vaccine have been administered so far. They’ve reached the arms of more than 3.7 million people. In all, 32.3% of Michiganders age 16 and older have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

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