COVID Update: 42% jump

New cases of COVID-19 jumped 42% in the past week. The new BA.2 subvariant is to blame.

Michigan: There were more cases of COVID-19 in Michigan over the past week. A lot more. The average daily rate of new infections rose 42% over last week’s report.

State health officials reported 7,725 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday. That pushed the seven day average up to 1,104 new cases per day – up from 774 a week earlier.

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Health officials point the finger at a new sub-type of the Omicron variant. Called BA.2, scientists say it is more transmissible than its earlier counterpart. It doesn’t appear to cause more severe infections and vaccines appear to be effective at countering it.

As case counts rose, the state’s positivity rate has risen as well. In the week ending Tuesday, 5.4% of COVID-19 tests conducted in Michigan returned positive results.

Two other measurements of the pandemic have not spiked. The number of hospitalizations in Michigan has remained about where it’s been for the past week. On Wednesday, there were 496 people with COVID-19 being treated in hospitals in the state. That’s 26 more than there were a week ago, though the number has gone up and down over the past seven days.

COVID deaths – a lagging indicator – continued to decline over the past week. The state reported 81 new coronavirus deaths on Wednesday. The seven day average declined by about three to 11.6 deaths per day.

Kalamazoo County: While new infections shot up across the state, they increased only a little bit in Kalamazoo County.

Health officials reported 169 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. That pushed the seven day average up to 24.1 new cases per day - up from 19.4 a week earlier.

Meanwhile, Kalamazoo's positivity rate has risen significantly. In the week ending Tuesday, 7.3% of COVID tests conducted in the county returned positive results - up from 5.9% a week earlier. The positivity rate has become an increasingly unreliable measure of pandemic severity as more and more people get tested at home and don't necessarily report their results.

Just like the rest of Michigan, hospitalizations and deaths have remained flat.

As of Monday, there were 22 people with COVID-19 being treated in the county's two hospitals. That's up by two from last week's report.

The seven day average of COVID deaths remained at 0.3 deaths per day. Officials reported two deaths over the past week.

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