COVID rates may be leveling off, still historically high

Though the number of illnesses are coming down from a high of over 7,000 per day, more than 100 people are dying from the coronavirus each day and hospitalization are higher than they've ever been.

Michigan: More than 100 people are dying each day in Michigan from the coronavirus, according to the latest numbers from the Department of Health and Human Services. The numbers have dropped slightly over recent days, but they’re still the highest they’ve been this year.

State health officials reported 160 new deaths from COVID-19 between Saturday and Monday. That caused the seven day average to fall by two to 106.57 deaths per day from this time last week.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

Officials reported 16,143 new cases of the coronavirus over the same time period. The seven day average has fallen by more than 1,000 to 6,187 new cases per day. That suggests that the severity of the pandemic may be stabilizing, though infection rates remain high.

A number that isn’t declining is the state’s hospitalization rate. The state reported that 4,782 people were being treated for the coronavirus in hospitals in the state on Monday. That’s the worst it has ever been. For the first time, more than 1,000 people are being treated in intensive care units throughout the state.

Meanwhile, the state’s positivity rate has declined from a high of 20% nearly two weeks ago. In the week ending Sunday, 16.93% of COVID-19 tests conducted in the state returned positive results. However, officials suggest more people should be getting tested for the coronavirus, especially ahead of the holidays as people gather indoors increasing the chances of transmission.

Kalamazoo County: The number of COVID-19 deaths in Kalamazoo County is increasing even as the rate of new infections declines.

Health officials reported that more than two people are dying each day in the county. They reported one new death over the weekend, which pushed the seven day average to 2.29 deaths per day.

At the same time, officials reported 316 new cases of COVID-19 between Saturday and Monday. That put the seven day average at 145.71 new cases per day - down from more than 200 cases per day in mid-November.

The county's positivity rate is also declining. In the week ending Sunday, 14.88% of COVID-19 tests conducted in the county returned positive results. That down from more 19% just two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, hospitalizations remain at a historic level. On Monday, 137 people were being treated for the coronavirus at one of the area's two hospitals. The vast majority of those patients are being treated at Bronson Methodist Hospital, where ER wait times are reported to be hours as the hospital contends with near-capacity conditions.

Support local. Donate today to Kalamazoo's only locally owned and independent daily news organization.