COVID Update: Death average passes 100 per day

More than 100 people are dying of COVID-19 each day in Michigan as the pandemic continues to worsen. The state's positivity rate hit 20% - the highest of the pandemic. And hospitalizations continue to break records.

Michigan: Nearly 109 people are dying each day from COVID-19 in Michigan, according to the latest numbers from the state.

Health officials reported on Monday that 127 people had succumbed to the coronavirus since Friday, with 47 of those deaths coming from a review of previous death records. That pushed the seven day average to 108.86 deaths per day. That’s the highest average since last year’s fall surge of the virus when deaths hit 116 per day. And it’s expected to get worse.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

Officials reported 16,590 new cases of the coronavirus over the weekend, pushing that seven day average to 7,366 new cases per day. That number is also rising to unprecedented levels. Historically, COVID deaths have lagged new infection numbers by about two weeks, so it’s expected that deaths will continue to mount as we approach the end of the year.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are also higher than they have ever been. The state reported on Monday that 4,636 people were being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals in the state, with nearly a quarter of them being treated in intensive care.

Finally, the state’s positivity rates are higher than ever before. In the week ending last Thursday, the positivity rate hit 20%, eclipsing the previous high of nearly 17% set in April. The rate has declined slightly since then, with 19.48% of COVID-19 tests conducted in the state returning positive results.

Kalamazoo County: Numbers have come down a little bit in Kalamazoo County after hitting record highs over the past two weeks.

Health officials reported 415 new cases of COVID-19 between Saturday and Monday. That put the seven day average at 190 new cases per day - down from nearly 202 cases per day on Nov. 19.

Meanwhile, there were no new deaths from the coronavirus reported in the county over the weekend. Still, the seven day average held at more than one death per day.

The county's positivity rate hit 15.8% in the week ending Sunday. That's down from a peak of over 19% in the middle of last week.

Hospitalization numbers had not been updated as of publication time, but it's likely that rates have continued to rise. On Nov. 29, there were 138 people being treated for COVID-19 in Kalamazoo's two hospitals - the highest ever for the county.

Outbreaks: State officials have decided to cut back on outbreak reporting in order to free up capacity at county and regional health departments. Instead of reporting outbreaks in 16 different settings, it will only report in six. That will continue to include school-based outbreaks.

Those school-based outbreaks declined significantly over the past week. The state reported outbreaks in just 46 schools in Michigan - down from 93 the previous week and 140 the week before that.

Two of those new outbreaks were in Kalamazoo County. Six students and staff contracted COVID-19 at two schools in Portage last week: 12th Street and Lake Center elementary schools.

There are eight other ongoing outbreaks being tracked in Kalamazoo County:

  • Amberly Elementary School in Portage
  • Portage Central Middle School
  • King Westwood Elementary School in Kalamazoo
  • Maple Street Middle School in Kalamazoo
  • Kalamazoo Christian
  • Alamo Elementary School
  • Schoolcraft Upper Elementary School
  • Sunset Lake Elementary in Vicksburg

Independent journalism is essential to a healthy democracy. Make a donation today.