COVID-19

COVID Update: Infections bounce back from holiday weekend

The number of new COVID-19 infections in Michigan jumped over the past week, but some of the increase may be due to Labor Day holiday backlogs the week before. Also, COVID is still a top-three killer in Michigan.

Kalamazoo County: The new normal – for now at least – seems to be 470 new COVID-19 infections per week. That’s how many were counted over the past week in Kalamazoo County. It’s a hefty increase from the week before, but it’s very close to the numbers from the few weeks before that.

The new infection numbers from the last report may have been erroneous. That’s because the Labor Day holiday weekend prompted many testing labs to close early, pushing test results from the first week of Sept. into last week.

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Overall, weekly infection numbers seem to be hovering between 400 and 500 cases per week. That’s roughly 60 to 70 cases per day. In the case of the latest report, Kalamazoo County is counting about 67 new infections per day.

The county also recorded a spike in COVID deaths, but much of that increase comes from deaths over the summer that investigators newly attribute to the coronavirus. Health officials added four new deaths to the county’s total over the past week.

Michigan: Statewide numbers showed a similar spike in new infection and death counts.

State health officials reported 18,375 new cases of COVID-19 over the past week, pushing the average up from 11 to 28 new cases per day. Like with Kalamazoo County, though, some of the sudden increase may be due to the Labor Day holiday.

Death numbers also seemed to spike in Michigan. Health officials reported 196 new deaths over the past week – up from just 83 the week before. But the majority of the new fatalities are actually reclassified deaths from the summer. Investigators regularly review previous death records and add deaths that were attributable to the coronavirus.

Regardless, COVID-19 continues to be a major killer in Michigan. So far this year, there have been 6,948 confirmed deaths from the coronavirus. That equates to about 27 deaths each day this year. At the rate we're going, COVID-19 will continue to be the number-three cause of death in Michigan this year, behind heart disease and cancer.

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