5/5/21: Third wave less lethal than the last

Positivity declining slowly. Hospitalizations fall below 3K for the first time in a month.

Michigan: Though COVID-19 deaths are still rising in Michigan, the third wave of the pandemic has been significantly less lethal than the second wave in the fall.

The state reported 126 coronavirus deaths in its Tuesday report, with 51 of them coming from a review of previous death records. It’s the second largest daily death toll since the spring surge of the virus began – after Saturday’s 131 deaths.

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In the past two months, 2,182 people have died from the coronavirus. It’s a lot of people, but it pales in comparison to the 4,400 people who died during a similar two-month period in the fall.

Nonetheless, Tuesday’s death total pushed the seven day average up to nearly 69 deaths per day. The average has been rising for most of the past month – from about 18 deaths per day on March 27.

The number of new infections continues to decline. The state reported 2,527 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, causing the seven day average to fall to 3,204 new cases per day.

COVID hospitalizations dropped below 3,000 for the first time in a month. The state reported 2,997 people were being treated for the coronavirus in hospitals in Michigan. That’s 66 less than on Monday.

The state’s positivity rate is also dropping – reaching an average of 10.5% in the week ending Monday. The positivity rate peaked at nearly 17% on April 8.

Kalamazoo County: The third wave of the pandemic has been similarly less lethal than the second in Kalamazoo County.

In the past two months, 33 people in the county have been killed by the coronavirus. That is less than half of the death toll during a two month period of the fall surge. In October and November, 68 people died from the coronavirus in Kalamazoo.

County officials reported two new deaths from the coronavirus on Tuesday – leaving the seven day average at 1.29 deaths per day.

The county also reported 84 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. That brought the seven day average down by five to 86 new cases per day.

Kalamazoo County’s positivity rate has been falling for nearly a month, but not as quickly as it has at the state level. In the week ending Monday, an average of 12.38% COVID-19 tests returned positive results – just a fraction less than the day before.

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