COVID Update: Infections jump 20%

COVID infection numbers are on the rise again in Michigan, as BA.5 continues to spread. Kalamazoo County has seen similar increases, but the CDC has downgraded its community level from High to Medium.

Kalamazoo County: Kalamazoo County is out of the red for now.

On July 14, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention upgraded Kalamazoo’s Community Level to High based on various pandemic measurements. That came with a recommendation that residents wear masks in indoor, public spaces such as grocery stores.

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Last Thursday, the CDC downgraded Kalamazoo County back to Medium. That eliminates the masking suggestion, though the CDC still recommends anyone at high risk of severe illness wear a mask in public.

New cases of COVID-19 jumped 16% in Kalamazoo County over the past week. Health officials reported that 569 people tested positive for the coronavirus since last Tuesday. That pushed the average from 70 to 81 new cases per day.

Meanwhile, COVID deaths decreased. The county reported that just one person succumbed to the coronavirus over the previous seven days. That’s down from four deaths each of the previous two weeks and seven deaths during the last week of June.

Hospitalizations in Kalamazoo County are on the rise, though the county’s two hospitals seem equipped to deal with the increase. On Tuesday, the two hospitals reported they were caring for 34 patients with COVID-19. That’s up from 28 at the beginning of the month. Both hospitals report they are operating below capacity.

Michigan: COVID numbers jumped 20% in the state as a whole over the past week.

State health officials reported 19,653 new cases of COVID-19 in the past week. That pushed the average up to 2,808 new cases per day.

COVID deaths declined during the same time period, but only slightly. The state reported 137 deaths, pushing the daily average down to 19.6 deaths per day.

Hospitalizations are on the rise in Michigan as well. The increases aren't dramatic, but the state is ticking ever closer to having 1,000 COVID patients. As of Wednesday, there were 979 patients with COVID-19 in hospitals in the state – up 18 from a week earlier.

A much lower proportion of those patients require intensive care compared to previous upswings of the pandemic. At the moment, 95 COVID patients are in the ICU compared to more than 200 in March when the patient level was similar to what it is today.

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