COVID Update: Hospitalizations below 1K

Hospitalizations fell below 1,000 in Michigan. Meanwhile, the state's positivity rate dropped to 4%. Things are slower in Kalamazoo, but we're catching up.

Michigan: For the first time in months, the number of people being hospitalized with COVID-19 has fallen below 1,000 people.

On Friday, the number of hospitalizations dropped to 972 patients. That number declined further on Monday to 875. Everywhere, the signs of the pandemic are quickly disappearing, with mask mandates vanishing and more people going out as if things are back to normal.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

Those signs are buoyed by a state positivity rate that hit 4% for the first time since last summer. Unlike last spring, the likelihood of a surge seems far away. While the coronavirus isn’t gone for good, the Omicron variant may have infected enough people to keep the virus at bay until next fall.

State health officials reported 1,656 new cases of COVID-19 between Saturday and Monday. That pushed the seven day average down to just 620 new cases per day. That’s akin to the situation at the end of last July.

People are still dying from the virus, but not at rates anywhere close to where they were just a month ago. The state reported 16 deaths over the weekend. That knocked the seven day average down to about 25 deaths per day.

School outbreaks are dwindling as well. There were just seven new reported outbreaks in schools in the past week – down from 126 at the end of January. None of the new outbreaks are in Kalamazoo County and the state is watching four ongoing outbreaks in the area.

Kalamazoo County: County data isn't quite as good as that at the state level, but things are improving.

Kalamazoo County's positivity rate dropped below 7%. In the week ending Sunday, just 6.85% of COVID-19 tests conducted in the county returned positive results.

Hospitalizations are down as well. On Monday, the county's two hospitals reported they were caring for just 38 coronavirus patients. That number hasn't been this low since early August of last year.

Health officials reported 53 new cases of COVID-19 between Saturday and Monday. That caused the seven day average to drop to 18.7 new cases per day.

The county reported one new death over the weekend. Currently, Kalamazoo County is averaging less than one death per day.

The average story costs NowKalamazoo $400 to produce. Donate to fund stories like this.