4/26/21: Deaths rise as infections fall

COVID deaths reach highest level in 3 months. Hospitalizations dropping as fast as they rose.

Michigan: New infections of COVID-19 are on the downswing in Michigan, but deaths – a lagging indicator – are rising.

State health officials reported 5,031 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday and 4,698 new cases on Saturday. That caused the seven day average to drop to 4,859 new cases per day. That’s a decline from more than 7,000 new cases per day nearly two weeks ago.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

At the same time, the state reported 29 new deaths from the coronavirus on Friday and 121 on Saturday, with 91 of Saturday’s total coming from a review of previous death records. The average rose to about 64 deaths per day on Saturday. That average has been rising for more than four weeks now.

Deaths have typically increased about two weeks after new infection numbers, so deaths are likely to continue rising for at least another week.

Meanwhile, the state’s positivity rate is falling. On Friday, about 11% of COVID-19 tests conducted in the state returned positive results. While still high, the positivity rate has been declining for several weeks now.

Hospitalizations are declining about as fast as they were rising just a couple week ago. The state reported that 3,865 people were being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals in the state on Friday. That’s 111 fewer than the day before.

Kalamazoo County: Both new infections and deaths are on the decline in Kalamazoo County.

County health officials reported 116 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. That brought the seven day average down to roughly 109 new cases per day. That average has been decreasing from an all-time high just a week and a half ago.

Meanwhile, the county reported no new deaths from the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the county’s average down to 0.43 deaths per day over the prior week.

The county’s positivity rate is also on the downslope. On Friday, 12.82% of COVID-19 tests returned positive results. The positivity rate has been declining for more than a week.

Support local. Donate today to Kalamazoo's only locally owned and independent daily news organization.