11/17/20: 7,458 new cases of COVID, 79 deaths

Kalamazoo County reports nearly 200 new cases and 7 deaths. Positivity rates have been in the double digits for two weeks. Hospitalizations continue to rise as the state begins reporting individual hospital numbers.

Michigan: State health officials reported 7,458 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. That increases the seven day moving average to 6,965 cases per day.

The state also reported 79 new deaths from the coronavirus, including 24 deaths discovered during a review of recent death records. The state is averaging nearly 58 deaths per day.

Kalamazoo County: Kalamazoo County reported 190 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. The county is averaging 135 new cases per day.

The county also reported seven new deaths from the virus. Some of those deaths may be the result of a review of previous death records. The county is averaging 2.14 deaths per day.

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Positivity Rate: On Monday, 14.25% of the more than 57,000 coronavirus tests administered came back positive. It’s the 15th day in a row the positivity rate has been 10% or higher. The WHO and state health officials recommend a positivity rate of 5% or less in order to open businesses. The state’s positivity rate hasn’t been that low in over a month.

Kalamazoo County’s positivity rate was 12.26% on Monday. The county’s positivity rate has been much more variable than the state, but it’s been in the double digits for most of November.

Hospitalizations: On Tuesday, 3,752 people were being cared for in Michigan hospitals for COVID-19. That’s an increase of more than 2,000 people since the end of October.

The state of Michigan has begun reporting COVID-19 patient numbers for individual hospitals throughout Michigan. Kalamazoo’s Bronson Methodist Hospital has been voluntarily reporting those numbers on its own website for months, while Ascension Borgess has refused to publicly release patient numbers.

Bronson Methodist Hospital reported 60 COVID-19 patients on Tuesday and is at 96% capacity. Ascension Borgess reported 43 COVID-19 patients on Monday and is at 81% capacity.

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