5/3/21: Half of Michigan at least partly vaccinated

State discovers cases of Indian variant. COVID deaths are up, new infections down in Michigan and Kalamazoo.

Vaccines: It’s official. Half of Michiganders age 16 and older have received at least one dose of one of the COVID-19 vaccines. That’s more than 4 million people.

It brings us one step closer to the 55% required to begin reopening under the state’s “Vacc to Normal” plan, announced by the governor last week.

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Nearly 55% of Kalamazoo residents have been at least partially vaccinated as of Saturday. That’s more than 117,000 people.

Meanwhile, daily vaccination rates are stagnating. In the week ending Sunday, an average of just over 75,000 doses of vaccine were administered in the state each day. That’s down from 85,000 per day a week earlier.

In Kalamazoo County, about 1,600 doses were given out each day in the week ending Sunday. That average has been declining for a week – from 2,600 doses per day on April 25.

Variants: There’s a new coronavirus variant in Michigan.

Last week, scientists announced they had discovered one case of the B.1.617 variant in a person in Clinton County. Also known as the India variant because of where it was discovered, not much is known about it. Studies suggest vaccines work against the virus.

Michigan: The COVID-19 death average continues to rise in Michigan, even as the average of new cases falls.

State health officials reported 3,440 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday and 3,431 on Saturday. That brought the seven day average down to 3,581 new cases per day.

Meanwhile, the state reported 36 new coronavirus deaths on Friday and 131 on Saturday, with 98 of Saturday’s number coming from a review of previous death records. The seven day average rose to 64.7 deaths per day on Saturday.

Hospitalizations continue to decline in the state. Officials reported 3,189 people were being treated for the coronavirus in Michigan hospitals on Friday – nearly 700 fewer than a week earlier.

Kalamazoo County: Metrics in Kalamazoo County are mirroring those on the state level.

County health officials reported 101 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the seven day average down to 97.57 new cases per day.

At the same time, the county reported two new deaths from the coronavirus. That increased the average to 1.57 deaths per day over the previous week.

Hospitalizations seem to be declining in the county even as hospital capacity nears 100%. On Thursday, 98 COVID-19 patients were being treated in the county’s two hospitals. That’s eight less than on Monday.

Meanwhile, Bronson Methodist Hospital was operating at 99% capacity. Ascension Borgess Hosptial was running a little lower, at 91% capacity.

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