COVID Update: Declines flattening

COVID has been in a steep decline in Michigan, but that decline is flattening as infection rates reach levels similar to last summer. Still, the positivity rate is near 3% and hospitalizations remain below 1,000.

Michigan: Take a pandemic snapshot from last summer and compare it to one from today – you’ll notice things are pretty similar. Infection rates are low and getting lower, hospitalization numbers are down, and the positivity rate is nearing 3%. Signs that the pandemic is receding are all around us.

Still, there are some signs that COVID-19 hasn’t left us for good.

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Coronavirus deaths haven’t dropped as steeply as other measures of the pandemic. State health officials reported 24 new deaths between Saturday and Monday. That put the seven day average at about 23 deaths per day. That’s quite a bit higher than the five deaths per day we were seeing at the end of July last year.

Hospitalizations are also still on the decline, thought the rate of decline is slowing. As of Monday, 729 people were being treated with COVID in hospitals in the state. That also is higher than last July.

Other measures are very similar.

Health officials reported 1,365 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, pushing the seven day average down to 554 new cases per day. That’s pretty close to the 573 cases per day the state was averaging on July 30.

And the positivity rate is inching closer and closer to 3%. In the week ending Sunday, 3.37% of COVID tests conducted in the state returned positive results. That’s very close to the rates seen during the last few weeks of July.

Kalamazoo County: Things are similar in Kalamazoo, though the county continues to play catch-up to the rest of the state.

There were no new coronavirus deaths reported in the county over the weekend, which allowed the seven day average to fall to 0.4 deaths per day. For comparison, Kalamazoo saw several weeks last July without any COVID deaths at all.

Health officials reported 41 new cases of the coronavirus between Saturday and Monday. That knocked the seven day average down to 15.5 new cases per day - very close to the dozen or so cases the county identified each day in July.

The county's positivity rate remains higher than the state's, with 5.3% of coronavirus tests returning positive results during the week ending Sunday. The county was measuring roughly 3% positivity during the middle of July last year.

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