COVID Update: Hospitalizations down, way down

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has dropped 55% from its peak just over a month ago. The positivity rate is near 10%. Unfortunately, Kalamazoo isn't keeping up.

Michigan: The number of people being treated in hospitals in Michigan with COVID-19 has fallen 55% over the past month.

In the latest report, hospitals stated they were treating 2,236 people with the coronavirus. Just over a month ago, that number was the highest it had ever been, with 5,009 people in hospital. It’s the clearest indication yet that the Omicron wave of the pandemic is waning.

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The state reported 5,380 new cases of COVID-19 between Saturday and Monday. That put the seven day average at 2,660 new cases per day. Less than a month ago, that figure was over 17,000.

The state’s positivity rate is also dropping to more manageable levels. In the week ending Sunday, just 11.5% of COVID-19 tests conducted in Michigan returned positive results. That’s down from over 33% on Jan. 12.

But Michigan’s COVID death rate isn’t declining as quickly as the other measures. The state reported 60 new deaths from the coronavirus over the weekend, putting the seven day average at 77.43 deaths per day. Death numbers never really took off the way hospitalizations and new infections did during the height of the Omicron wave. But now they’re not falling as quickly either.

Kalamazoo County: While the news is overwhelmingly good at the state level, Kalamazoo county is having a hard time keeping up. Though numbers are dropping, they aren't dropping as quickly as elsewhere.

The seven day average of new infections fell below 100 per day for the first time in more than three months. But after an initially rapid decline, average daily infection numbers are no longer falling quickly. Health officials reported 171 new cases of COVID-19 between Saturday and Monday, putting the seven day average at 93.4 new cases per day.

The county's daily death numbers have held pretty steady for the past two weeks. Health officials reported just one new COVID death over the weekend. But the seven day average was flat at 1.29 deaths per day.

Hospitalization data wasn't updated in time for publication, but the county's positivity rate is still high enough to cause concern. In the week ending Sunday, 17.9% of coronavirus tests conducted in the county returned positive results. For comparison, the state as a whole had a positivity rate of 11.5% in the same time period.

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