The number of Covid-19 fatalities reported in Allegan County jumped from 73 Monday to 76 Wednesday and to 81 Friday since the pandemic began last March.
The Allegan County Health Department noted the increase and indicated there now have been 6,147 cases in the county, with 157 currently being hospitalized. There have been 4,889 reported as having recovered from the virus.
The figures reflect an uptick most likely because of holiday gatherings last month. Michigan until just a couple of days ago appeared to be “flattening the curve,” but statistics in the wake of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays have bumped up the bad news.
Michigan’s seven-day case rate had been going down steadily for more than six weeks, especially since the state health department’s shutdown of in-person high school instruction and meetings of more than a dozen people indoors. However, there has been a slight uptick this week.
The infection rate had dipped below 8 percent, but increased to just above 10% and now has settled in at just under 9% statewide.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Friday afternoon announced that schools will be encouraged to offer in-person learning options by March 1. All schools reopened this week after the holiday break, some after having held all classes via the Internet last month.
Wayland Union Schools Supt. Dr. Christina Hinds, in her periodic “Superintendent’s Update” column Friday, said, “At this time, Wayland Union Schools will continue the Enhanced Hybrid Model with Group A Mondays and Thursdays; Group B Tuesdays and Fridays; and all remote Wednesdays.
“We look forward to bringing all students together when it is safe to do so. Procedurally, we will continue our process of monthly reconfirmation meetings held at regular board meetings and board work sessions. Our next reconfirmation discussion will be during the board meeting, held virtually, on Monday, Jan. 11, at 7 p.m.
Schools in Allegan County continue to receive the health department’s grade of “D,” which is one step above recommendation for all virtual learning. Wayland and Hopkins returned Monday, Jan. 4, to hybrid sessions. Martin schools are resuming classroom instruction five days per week.