COVID UPDATE: Michigan leading nation in new infections

The single-day positivity rate hit highest ever on Saturday. But vaccination numbers jumped as kids became eligible.

Michigan: The state is now the worst COVID hotspot in the nation.

With 21,034 new infections reported between Saturday and Monday, Michigan is outpacing every other state in the U.S. in terms of its case rate. The seven day case rate rose to 503.8 per 100,000 residents. Over the week ending Monday, the state was averaging 6,171 new cases per day – eclipsing the height of the spring surge of the virus.

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The average of deaths rose as well. The state reported 95 new deaths from the coronavirus over the weekend, pushing the seven day average to 48.71 deaths per day. That number is expected to jump in the next few weeks as some who recently tested positive eventually succumb to COVID-19.

On Saturday, Michigan hit its highest one-day positivity rate ever – just shy of 19%. In the week ending Sunday, 16.71% of COVID-19 tests conducted in the state returned positive results.

Kalamazoo County: Case numbers spiked in Kalamazoo as well, though not as dramatically as the state as a whole.

Health officials reported 555 new cases of COVID-19 in Kalamazoo County between Saturday and Monday. That pushed the seven day average to 151.71 new cases per day - 50 higher than on Friday.

Officials reported two new deaths from the virus, pushing the seven day average to one-a-day.

The county's positivity rate hit a fall high with 14.04% of COVID tests returning positive results in the week ending Sunday.

But despite all that, hospitalizations actually declined in the county. On Monday, Kalamazoo's two hospitals reported they were treating 87 people for COVID-19. That's 15 fewer than the previous week. Even as other hospital systems in the state find themselves pushed to their limits, Kalamazoo's hospitals seem to be under capacity. Bronson Methodist Hospital reported it was operating at 81% capacity, while Ascension Borgess was at 76% capacity.

Outbreaks: In its latest report, new school-based outbreaks of the coronavirus actually went down compared to the previous week.

There were 87 new outbreaks in schools in the state over the past week, down from 104 outbreaks during the first week of November.

Three of those outbreaks were in Kalamazoo County. A total of ten staff and students contracted COVID-19 at three area schools: Maple Street Middle School and Prairie Ridge Elementary in the Kalamazoo Public Schools district and Kalamazoo Christian.

Six other schools in the county are experiencing ongoing outbreaks:

  • Haverhill Elementary in Portage
  • Moorsbridge Elementary in Portage
  • Woodland Elementary in Portage
  • Portage Central Middle School
  • Gagie School in Kalamazoo
  • Sunset Lake Elementary in Vicksburg

Vaccines: The average of new vaccinations against COVID-19 jumped significantly over the past week, thanks mostly to those newly eligible - children aged 5 to 11.

Over the seven days ending Monday, 18,157 people received a dose of the vaccine in Michigan. That's more than double what the number was just a week earlier. So far, more than 67,000 children age 5 to 11 have gotten their first dose of the vaccine.

Numbers jumped in Kalamazoo County as well. Over the past week, more than 600 people have been inoculated against the coronavirus each day on average - nearly triple the number from a week earlier. More than 3,000 children 5-11 have received their first shots.

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