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Rising death rates with declining new case rates has MC health officials scratching their heads

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Muskegon health officials say they are baffled that COVID-19 related deaths continue to rise while new cases continue to decline. Muskegon County’s Department of Public Health says it’s a mystery as to the reason why nether deaths or hospitalizations from the coronavirus have slowed down over the last few weeks in Muskegon County, despite new case rates continuing to decline, as much as a percentage point each day.

According to the State of Michigan, there were 10 additional deaths in Muskegon County in the past week, and seven more that were considered probable due to the virus.

And it’s frustrating health officials and epidemiologists at Muskegon County who say they just can’t figure out why. Kathy Moore is the Health Department’s Director.

“You know we have had individual residents who have died at home, at long care facilities, and we can zero in on a specific demographic or a specific reason,” Moore said. “We do know that the higher the age, the higher the probability, or even sometimes the severe case of infection.”

Moore says recent deaths include three that occurred in homes and two in long-term care facilities, while the health department is investigating what happened,  including whether the victims had sought treatment.

Meanwhile the vaccine can’t get here fast enough, but supplies are limited, at least for now. Moore said there are roughly 18,000 Muskegon County residents already on the waiting list.