5/6/21: Deaths rise as infections fall

Kalamazoo positivity rate drops below 12%. State poised to pass 18K deaths.

Michigan: In a continuation of the trend of the moment, the state saw its average daily number of deaths from COVID-19 rise even as new infection totals declined.

State health officials reported 2,589 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, marking the fourth day in a row the daily number has been less than 3,000. That brought the seven day average down to 2,949 new infections per day – the first time the average has been below 3,000 since March 23.

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At the same time, the state reported 42 new deaths from the coronavirus. That caused the seven day average to rise to 67.4 deaths per day – the highest that count has been since late January.

In total, the state is poised to surpass another grim milestone. As of Wednesday, 17,939 Michiganders has been killed by the coronavirus. At current rates, we will pass 18,000 deaths on Thursday.

Meanwhile, hospitalization numbers continued to fall on Wednesday, but the rate of decrease is slowing. Officials reported 2,920 COVID-19 patients in Michigan – 77 fewer than the day before. For the past two weeks, hospitalization numbers had been declining by more than 100 patients per day. That rate of decrease has dropped for the past two days.

Kalamazoo County: Infection numbers are also falling in Kalamazoo, even as deaths rise.

County officials reported 89 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the seven day average down by four to 81.5 new cases per day.

At the same time, the county reported one new death from the coronavirus. That boosted the seven day average to 1.4 deaths per day.

On the bright side, Kalamazoo County’s average positivity rate fell below 12% on Tuesday. Officials reported that 10.26% of COVID-19 tests conducted in the county returned positive results. That brought the average down to 11.9% for the prior week.

The county’s positivity rate has been declining slowly after reaching a peak of more than 17% in early April. We still have a long way to go, but the trend continues to be positive.

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