4/29/21: As hospitalizations fall, Michigan is still top in the nation

New case average declines for two weeks straight in the state, but rise in Kalamazoo. New variants are rampant in Michigan.

Michigan: COVID-19 hospitalizations have been declining in Michigan for more than a week now. Though the numbers are lower, the state still has the highest hospitalization rate in the country.

On Wednesday, 3,446 people were being treated for the coronavirus in hospitals in the state – a a decline of nearly 1,000 from its record high on April 19. Still, Michigan has the highest inpatient bed utilization in the country, according to new data from health officials.

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Meanwhile, new infection totals continue to drop for the second week in a row. State health officials reported 4,371 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. That brought the seven day average down to 4,167 new cases per day – a decrease from more than 7,000 two weeks ago.

The average number of deaths dropped slightly on Wednesday. The state reported 38 new deaths from the coronavirus, bringing the average down by one to 62.29 deaths per day over the past week.

Kalamazoo County: The average of new infections in the county actually rose slightly on Wednesday.

County health officials reported 118 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the seven day average up by one to 99 new cases per day. There were no new deaths reported and that average stayed stable at one death per day over the past week.

Variants: There are now five variants of concern being followed in Michigan, and their numbers are rising quickly.

State health officials reported 5,616 cases of the more contagious UK variant (B.1.1.7) in Michigan as of Saturday. That’s an increase of more than 62% over last week’s report.

At the same time, the state reported 66 cases of the Brazil variant (P.1) and 26 cases of the South Africa variant (B.1.351).

A pair of more recent variants have made significant headway in the state. First discovered in California, the B.1.427 and B.1.429 variants have been found in 231 patients so far.

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