COVID Update: Rates up 32%

COVID-19 infection rates jumped 32% in Michigan over the past week. That's similar to weekly increases over the past month. Nonetheless, death numbers continue to drop.

Michigan: Over the past week, new cases of COVID-19 increased 32%. In fact, case numbers have increased by about that much each week of the past month. Yet despite those increases, Michigan residents continue to behave as if the pandemic is over – or at least in recession.

Part of the reason for that is undoubtedly simple pandemic fatigue. But another reason may be that the variant of the virus spreading right now just doesn’t seem as bad as previous ones. Although infection rates are increasing, other signs of the pandemic aren’t rising as much, or in one case are actually decreasing.

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State health officials reported 18,945 new cases of the coronavirus over the past week. That equates to an average of 2,706 new cases per day.

Despite that rise, death numbers have continued to decline. The state reported just 62 new deaths over the past week. That brought the seven day average down to 8.9 deaths per day.

Meanwhile, COVID hospitalizations rose over the past week, though not by a lot. Hospitals on Wednesday reported they were treating 737 patients with COVID-19. That’s a little over 100 more than they were seeing a week ago. For comparison, during the winter surge of the pandemic, Michigan saw that kind of increase every day.

Kalamazoo County: Like the rest of the state, Kalamazoo County saw a jump in new infection numbers over the past week.

Health officials reported 359 new cases of COVID-19 since last Wednesday. That averages out to about 51 new cases per day - more than double the number from three weeks ago.

While that's worrisome, those worries are lessened somewhat by the county's low death rate. There were no reported deaths over the past week and death averages have been declining since February.

Meanwhile, hospitalizations increased in Kalamazoo County, though not by much. A total of 15 people with COVID-19 were being treated in the county's two hospitals on Wednesday. That's an increase of four over last week's number, which itself was the lowest since last summer.

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