COVID Update: Hospitalizations higher than ever

More people than ever are being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals in Michigan and Kalamazoo County. At the same time, the state's positivity rate has also reached a new high.

Michigan: One in four patients in hospitals in Michigan is being treated for COVID-19 as state hospitalizations for the coronavirus reached the highest level of the pandemic.

In its latest report after the long holiday weekend, state health officials announced on Monday that 4,447 people were being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals in the state. That’s more than the highs reached during the peak of the pandemic last fall when no one had yet been vaccinated. More than one-fifth of the current COVID patients are in intensive care.

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At the same time, the averages of new infections and deaths dipped slightly over the weekend. Health officials reported 25,329 new cases of COVID-19 between last Thursday and Monday. The seven day average dropped by more than a thousand to just over 6,000 new cases per day.

The state reported 137 deaths over the same time period. The seven day average fell by about ten to 59.57 deaths per day.

Meanwhile, the state’s positivity rate hit its highest point since the beginning of the pandemic. In the week ending Sunday, 18.89% of coronavirus tests conducted in the state returned positive results.

Kalamazoo County: Kalamazoo's hospitalization numbers also reached their highest point of the pandemic in the days after Thanksgiving.

Health officials reported that there were 138 people being treated for COVID-19 in the county's two hospitals on Monday. The majority of those were being treated at Bronson Methodist Hospital, which reported it was operating at 98% capacity. A news release from Bronson said the hospital is focusing its attention almost exclusively on COVID patients.

Meanwhile, the average of COVID deaths rose over the long weekend. Health officials reported three new deaths since last Wednesday. That pushed the seven day average to 1.14 deaths per day.

The average of new infections declined in the same report. Health officials said there were 560 new cases of COVID-19 over the five days ending Monday. The seven day average dropped by nearly 30 to 142.86 new cases per day.

Kalamazoo County's positivity rate continued to climb over the weekend. In the week ending Sunday, nearly 17% of COVID-19 tests conducted in the county returned positive results. That's very close to the positivity rate reached in April at the height of the spring surge of the pandemic.

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