COVID Update: Still dropping

Daily new infection numbers have dropped 69% since the peak. Hospitalizations have fallen to their lowest level since November. Is Omicron burning out?

Michigan: The state’s rate of new COVID-19 infections is dropping almost as fast as it rose. In the past three weeks, the daily average of new coronavirus cases has fallen by 69% signaling that the Omicron variant may be burning itself out.

State health officials reported 9,898 new cases of COVID-19 between Saturday and Monday – the lowest weekend total since mid-November. The seven day average declined to 5,501 new cases per day.

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Meanwhile, the state’s positivity rate fell below 20% over the weekend. For reference, the positivity rate hit 33.4% on Jan. 11. In the week ending Sunday, just 19.1% of tests conducted in the state returned positive results. That’s still high, but coming down.

Hospitalization numbers are also dropping. There were 2,708 people being treated for the coronavirus in hospitals in the state on Monday – the lowest number since Nov. 10. In total, hospitalization numbers have declined 46% since hitting 5,009 on Jan. 10.

The number of people dying each day from the coronavirus is also declining, though not as swiftly. Death numbers never hit the pandmic highs many had feared as the Omicron wave swept across Michigan. Nonetheless, the state is still seeing a seven day average of 82 deaths per day. State health officials reported 38 new deaths over the weekend.

Kalamazoo: COVID numbers are coming down in Kalamazoo County as well, but not as dramatically as they are statewide.

Health officials reported 290 new cases of the coronavirus between Saturday and Monday, bringing the seven day average down to 167 new cases per day. That's a drop of 69% since Kalamazoo's peak a month ago.

Kalamazoo's positivity rate has been declining as well, but hasn't fallen below 20% yet. According to the latest stats, 23.31% of COVID-19 tests conducted in the county returned positive results in the week ending Sunday. That's ten percentage points lower than the highest number ever recorded - on Jan. 9 - but it's higher than the state as a whole and much higher than any other point during the pandemic.

Hospitalization numbers continue to decline, but remain relatively high. On Monday, 102 patients were being treated with the coronavirus in the area's two hospitals. Both hospitals are below capacity, which is an improvement over last week's report.

Just like the state, Kalamazoo hasn't seen a sharp spike in COVID deaths that many anticipated. Health officials reported just one death over the weekend, amounting to an average of just over one death per day over the past week.

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