Pandemic keeps waning, but Ky. new-case rate ranks 6th; positive test rate falls under 8%; hospital numbers best in nearly 2 months

Screenshot of New York Times interactive map (available here), with line about Kentucky added.

By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News

Every major measure of the pandemic in Kentucky declined Sunday, from new cases to hospital figures to deaths.

It was the end of the state’s Monday-to-Sunday reporting week, which was the fourth straight week with fewer cases, Gov. Andy Beshear said on social media.
Final numbers will be reported Monday, but there were a total 14,949 cases on the state’s initial, unadjusted, daily reports. That was almost as low as the week that ended Dec. 27, just before a post-holiday surge.
The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,136 per day. It has declined every day but four since reaching a high of 4,002 on Jan. 10.
But new cases are declining nationwide, so Kentucky remained among the top states in new cases per person, ranking sixth in a New York Times compilation. It was fifth on Saturday. The list is led by South Carolina, followed by Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas.
Another sign of a waning pandemic was the percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the novel coronavirus in the last seven days: 7.97%, the first time it has been below 8% since Nov. 10.
The state recorded 31 more deaths from the virus’s Covid-19 disease, 29 confirmed and two probable. Deaths are listed after a review process that can take weeks. The two-week average stands at 45 per day, just below the record 45.3 average of Friday and Saturday.
Kentucky hospitals reported 1,235 Covid-19 patients, 290 of them in intensive-care units, and 140 ICU patients on ventilators. All those figures were the fewest since Nov. 10.
Three of the 10 hospital-readiness regions reported their ICU beds more than 80% full, but two just barely. The east and northeast were at 81% and Lake Cumberland, usually the fullest, was at 93%.
The state’s case-incidence rate fell again, to 41.9 per 100,000 population in the last seven days. Counties above 60 on the state’s daily report were Allen, 83.1; Webster, 76.2; Butler, 72.1; Washington, 72; Daviess, 71.9; Madison, 67.9; McCreary, 63.8; Nelson, 61.2; and Ohio, 60.7.
Counties with 10 or more new cases Sunday were Jefferson, 245; Fayette, 130; Kenton, 84; Daviess, 70; Boone, 65; Madison, 37; Hardin, 36; Warren, 36; Jessamine, 30; Nelson, 29; McCracken, 27; Ohio, 27; Shelby, 26; Boyd, 24; Campbell, 23; Barren, 22; Bullitt, 20; Scott, 20; Henderson, Logan and Muhlenberg, 18; Christian, 17; Clay and Laurel, 16; Grant, 15; Graves, Grayson and Trigg, 14; Caldwell and Hopkins, 13; Floyd, Greenup, Hart and Oldham, 12; Bell, Harrison, Marion, Rowan and Wayne, 11; and Boyle, 10.

In other coronavirus news Sunday:
  • The Russell County Detention Center stopped accepting new inmates after 22 tested positive for the virus and several others were exposed, WJRS Radio reports. Tests were conducted after two inmates who had been released to halfway houses tested positive, Jailer Bobby Dunbar said.
  • In state prisons, case counts were down from last week, according to the Corrections Department report last updated Friday. The Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex in West Liberty remained the main trouble spot, with 113 active cases among inmates and 13 among employees.
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