4/6/21: Michigan surges past 700K COVID infections

The state's positivity rate is higher than in the fall. 10K sickened in school-based outbreaks.

Michigan: New cases of COVID-19 over the weekend pushed the state over 700,000 total infections since the pandemic began.

State health officials reported 10,293 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and Monday. That increased the seven day moving average to 5,961 new cases per day – the highest the average has been since December 9 of last year.

Meanwhile, the state’s positivity rate has soared past the highest it reached during the fall wave of the coronavirus. On Sunday, 17.03% of tests conducted in the state returned positive results. That pushed the week average to 15.73%. The state’s positivity rate has been increasing steadily – and rapidly – since late February.

The state’s COVID-19 death rate has begun to climb, after staying low for weeks due to increased vaccination efforts.

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The state reported 21 new deaths on Sunday and Monday. That pushed the seven day average to more than 29 deaths per day. The number is still being held down due to the state’s vaccination programs.

Outbreaks: School-based outbreaks of the coronavirus have surged 47% over the past two weeks, prompting some districts to return to remote learning. Detroit Public Schools – the largest district in the state – announced it would move classes online for two weeks following spring break in the hopes it would limit the spread of the coronavirus.

More than 10,000 students, teachers, and staff have been infected with COVID-19 in new and continuing outbreaks plaguing K-12 schools and colleges in Michigan.

The latest outbreak report from the state shows 84 new outbreaks and 245 ongoing outbreaks. Five of the ongoing outbreaks are in Kalamazoo County, including two schools in Portage.

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Variants: There have now been 1,649 confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant of the coronavirus in Michigan. That’s in addition to seven cases of the B.1.351 variant and one case of the P.1 variant.

All three variants are being watched closely by health officials since they seem to be much more contagious and, in some cases, more deadly than dominant versions of the coronavirus in Michigan.

Kalamazoo County: The county’s average positivity rate increased to just under 16% on Sunday. Of the COVID-19 tests conducted that day, 12.43% returned positive results. Though the county’s positivity rate is higher than it’s been since April of last year, Kalamazoo is about average for the state.

County officials reported a whopping 440 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. That sent the seven day average surging to above 111 new cases per day. That’s more than 30 higher than it was on Friday.

The county also reported one new death from the coronavirus over the weekend. Despite the high infection numbers, Kalamazoo County is averaging just 0.14 deaths per day over the past week.

The number of people being hospitalized for COVID-19 jumped over the weekend in Kalamazoo. The county’s two hospitals reported they were caring for 85 coronavirus patients on Monday. That’s 13 more than on Thursday of last week.

Bronson Methodist Hospital reports that it is operating at 99% capacity.

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