Has Michigan turned a corner?
A week ago, the seven day average of new cases of COVID-19 hit a new high for the year – 7,014 new infections per day. That number has mostly decreased since then. The state’s positivity rate has been declining since April 8.
Does that mean the spring wave of the coronavirus is over? Far from it, but it does seem like we’re on the downside of a surge that has made Michigan the worst state in the nation for much of the past month.
Some people are hailing it as a victory for policies that have not included new restrictions on businesses. Governor Gretchen Whitmer herself has repeatedly insisted new health department orders are not necessary due to the rising rates of vaccinations.
Others aren’t sure we’ve hit the peak yet.
“It’s prudent to be cautious and not be surprised if cases … in the state continue to go up,” said Ottawa County Senior Epidemiologist Derel Glashower in an interview with Bridge Michigan.
The fact of the matter is most people aren’t certain why infections have risen so precipitously in Michigan – though there are plenty of theories.
Chief among them is the increasing numbers of a coronavirus variant infecting people in Michigan. Other sources could be high school sporting events, spring break trips, and even just plain old pandemic fatigue, which could be leading more people to be less careful about COVID safety measures.
Whatever the cause, one stat is defying past trends – COVID-19 deaths. Even as new infections skyrocketed in March, the number of people dying from the disease remained low. Now, though, those numbers are rising – even as new infection numbers begin to decline.
The standard rule of thumb says that COVID-19 deaths lag new infections by a couple of weeks. So even if we are on the downswing of the spring wave, we could still see rising death rates in the coming days.
You can read more here.
Support local. Donate today to Kalamazoo's only locally owned and independent daily news organization.