COVID UPDATE: Hospitalizations are up … way up

The positivity rate climbed above 14% in Michigan while case numbers rose. Deaths remain relatively low compared to last fall, but still rising. School outbreaks reach new highs.

Michigan: Hospitalizations for COVID-19 jumped by a lot over the weekend in Michigan.

As of Monday’s report, 2,757 people were being treated for the coronavirus in hospitals throughout the state. That’s an increase of 452 over the number a week earlier. It’s the largest jump in new hospitalizations since last spring.

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The state’s acting chief medical executive, Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, told Bridge Michigan that people need to stay vigilant, especially as temperatures drop and folks spend more time indoors.

“It was tempting to think we had peaked and [case counts] were going down,” she said. Unfortunately, the data haven’t borne that out and increases “paint a not too rosy picture of the winter.”

Meanwhile, the average of new cases bumped above 4,000 per day late last week. State health officials reported 8,911 new cases between Saturday and Monday. That pushed the seven day average up to 4,110 new cases per day, putting the state on par with where it was in late April.

Deaths declined slightly over the weekend, with 47 new deaths between Saturday and Monday. That caused the seven day average to drop to 39.14 deaths per day.

But the state’s positivity rate continues to climb. In the week ending Sunday, 14.03% of COVID-19 tests conducted in the state returned positive results. Michigan is rapidly nearing the highs reached during the peak of the spring surge of the coronavirus.

Kalamazoo County: Hospitalizations have spiked in Kalamazoo County as well.

The latest report from the state shows that 102 people are being treated for COVID-19 in the county's two hospitals as of Monday. That's an increase of 20 people from last week and marks one of the largest numbers of hospitalizations since the pandemic began. Only the spring surge saw more COVID patients filling up local hospitals.

The average of new cases jumped past 100 per day over the past week. State health officials reported 205 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend. That brought the seven day average to 107.43 new cases per day.

The seven day average of deaths remained flat at 1.29 new deaths per day on Monday. And there were no new deaths reported over the weekend.

The county's positivity rate seems to be hovering around 12% for the past few days. In the week ending Sunday, 11.89% of COVID-19 tests conducted in the county returned positive results. That's still exceedingly high for Kalamazoo, but it isn't rising quickly as it is statewide.

Outbreaks: School-based outbreaks of COVID-19 continue to break records week over week.

In its latest report, state officials said 666 staff and students were sickened in 104 new outbreaks in schools throughout the state.

Only one of those new outbreaks was in Kalamazoo County. Sunset Lake Elementary in Vicksburg was the site of an outbreaks that sickened eight students last week.

At the same time, there are five ongoing outbreaks in schools in Kalamazoo County. Haverhill, Moorsbridge, and Woodland elementary schools, and Portage Central High School, all in Portage, have ongoing outbreaks that have sickened 49 people so far. And nine people at the private Gagie School in Kalamazoo have contracted COVID-19.

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