Kalamazoo Region now a COVID hotspot

State health officials say the southwest Michigan Kalamazoo Region is the biggest COVID hotspot in the state.

COVID-19 is spreading quickly in southwest Michigan leading to the Kalamazoo Region being labeled a COVID hotspot by state health officials.

The Kalamazoo Region is a formal designation for the nine-county area in Michigan that extends from the southwest corner of the state to Allegan County to the north and Calhoun County to the east.

According to the MI Safe Start Map, most of the state is designated “High Risk” of COVID spread. What makes the Kalamazoo Region stand out is its positivity rate, hospitalization rate, and COVID case rate.

As of Tuesday, the Kalamazoo Region had a positivity rate of 11.9% – higher than the state’s 8.5%. The region is also averaging the second-highest case rate in the state after the Upper Peninsula. And hospitalization rates are higher than any other region.

Health experts don’t point to any one reason for the region’s worrisome COVID stats. However, vaccination rates are low in most of the counties surrounding Kalamazoo and that may be a significant contributor.

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