COVID-19

COVID Update: Surge may be slowing

New infection numbers rose just 8% in the past week after jumping 30% for each of the previous five weeks. Is it a sign COVID is slowing again?

Michigan: There are signs the recent surge of COVID-19 may be slowing. Over the past week, new cases of the coronavirus rose just 8%. That’s after five straight weeks of more than 30% increases.

State health officials reported 29,267 new cases of COVID-19 since last Wednesday. The seven day average reached 4,181 new cases per day — up from nearly 4,000 per day a week earlier. It’s an increase, but it’s less of an increase than we’ve seen for over a month.

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Despite that, hospitalizations continue to mount. The number of people with COVID-19 being treated in Michigan hospitals hit 1,146 on Wednesday. That’s 243 more than last week.

Meanwhile, there are signs other measures of the pandemic are flattening out. Deaths and positivity rates are still increasing, but not as much as they were.

Health officials reported 78 COVID deaths since last Wednesday — just two more than were reported the previous week. The seven day average jumped slightly to 11.1 deaths per day.

Michigan’s positivity rate may have stopped rising. In the week ending Tuesday, 16.4% of COVID tests conducted in the state returned positive results. However, that measurement has become less and less reliable as at-home tests proliferate.

Kalamazoo County: It's too soon to say whether the rise of COVID-19 is slowing in Kalamazoo County.

Health officials reported 622 new cases of COVID-19 since last Wednesday. That's nearly 100 more than there were the previous week. The seven day average rose to 88.9 new cases per day. That marks the sixth week in a row that the new infection number has gone up.

While hospitalizations rose across the state, they actually decreased in Kalamazoo County. On Monday, the county's two hospitals reported they were caring for 21 patients with COVID-19. That's two fewer than a week earlier.

Just one person has died of the coronavirus over the past week. The previous week, two people died. Earlier weekly reports have shown similar numbers of fatalities, indicating that death rates remain low despite rising numbers of infections.

Finally, Kalamazoo County reached a positivity rate of more than 23% in the week ending Tuesday. Because of the widespread use of at-home tests, the actual positivity rate is likely much higher. Nonetheless, the positivity rate has remained fairly steady for most of the past week after rising rapidly over the previous two months.

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