Sunday cases low, as usual; 7-day average still high; 30-year-old dies; those in 20s are plurality of Ky. cases; media influence seen

State map of all cases, labeled by Kentucky Health News; click on it for a larger version.

Kentucky officials reported 67 new coronavirus cases Sunday, following the trend of Sundays having lower numbers because of limited reporting from laboratories that process tests looking for the virus. The report lowered the state’s rolling seven-day average to 222 from 229, where it had jumped after a near-record number of cases on Saturday.

“We see states in the South like Florida and Texas with rising cases, and know it could happen here in Kentucky,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in a press release. “It wasn’t anything magic that led us to our early success. It was us truly coming together as a people and showing that the lives of other Kentuckians is more important to us than anything.”

The phenomenon of limited reporting on weekends, and the value of a seven-day rolling average, is freshly illustrated by the state Department for Public Health‘s revised epidemic curve. It now dates cases as beginning on the day of the test, not the day symptoms began (as many as half of those infected have no symptoms but can still spread the virus):
For a larger version of the Kentucky epidemic curve, click on the chart.
Nationally, the number of new cases hit a record for the fifth day in a row.
The second wave of cases this fall is likely to be “substantially larger than the first wave,” Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University infectious-disease specialist, told CNN. Beshear said in the release, “In the coming weeks and months, we’re going to be tested again about whether we truly can be Together Kentucky and Team Kentucky once again. I know we’re up for it.”
Beshear reported four more deaths Sunday, raising the state’s covid-19 death total 558. The fatalities included a 30-year-old woman from Fayette County, who appears to have been the youngest covid-19 death in the state. Others were an 84-year-old woman from Fayette County, an 81-year-old man from Franklin County and a 93-year-old man from Shelby County.

Sunday’s update did not include hospitalization data, which have become more important to watch as the virus spread among younger people, who are generally less vulnerable to the virus. When sorted by decades of age, people in their 20s now account for more Kentucky cases than any other decade. Counties reporting five or more new cases Sunday were Jefferson, 10; Fayette, 9; Warren, 7; and Pike, 5.
In other covid-19 news Sunday:
People who get their news from Google or Yahoo, watch Fox News or listen to Rush Limbaugh are more likely to be misinformed about the coronavirus and covid-19, three studies have found. A Harvard University study found that was true even when discounting for age, gender, ideology and party preference. It found that readers of The Associated PressThe New York TimesThe Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal were better informed. It also found, “Exposure to sources such as Facebook, Twitter or YouTube was positively correlated with belief in the efficacy of vitamin C, the belief that the CDC was exaggerating the threat to harm President Trump, and the belief that the virus was created by the U.S. government.” Another study found that “Infection and mortality rates are higher in places where one pundit who initially downplayed the severity of the pandemic — Fox News’s Sean Hannity — reaches the largest audiences,” the Post reports.
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