New cases of the virus in Kentucky are down for the fifth week in a row; state’s seven-day infection rate falls to ninth in the nation

Ky. Health News graph; daily case numbers are initial, unadjusted; click the image to enlarge it.

By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News

Cases of the novel coronavirus in Kentucky have declined for the fifth week in a row, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Sunday.
“That had never happened for four straight weeks in the pandemic,” Beshear said in a video. “It means we continue to move in the right direction.”
Final numbers for the Monday-to-Sunday reporting week will be issued Monday, but the unadjusted daily totals from the last two weeks show a 26 percent decline, from 14,949 to 11,055.
The state reported 1,710 new cases of the virus Sunday, raising its seven-day average by 25, to 1,579, but the overall infection rate over the last seven days kept falling. The rate remained in the top 10 on The New York Times‘ compilation, but fell to ninth; Kentucky had been as high as third recently.
The percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the last seven days again fell slightly, to 6.78%, about where it was on Nov. 6. It reached a high of 12.45% on Jan. 10. Beshear called the positive-test rate “a leading indicator that we are doing better and better.”
Also, he said the state added “just 10 new deaths” to the list of Covid-19 victims. “We always hate to have one death, but with what we had been seeing lately, these are positive numbers as well.”
In the last 14 days, Kentucky has averaged 38.4 deaths per day, and that rate has declined on seven of the last eight days, from a pandemic high of 45.3. The seven-day average is now down to 33 per day. Deaths are not only a lagging indicator, they are not listed until official reviews that can take weeks.

Beshear encouraged Kentuckians to “Keep it up, and continue to wear your mask; know that just because you’ve been vaccinated doesn’t mean that we can stop doing the things we need to do to be careful until everyone else gets their shot of hope as well.”

Hospitalizations for Covid-19 in Kentucky declined by 40, to 1,019, the fewest since early November. However, intensive-care and ventilator cases each rose by four, to 270 and 147, respectively.
Three of the 10 hospital readiness regions reported more than 80% of their intensive-care beds occupied: Lake Cumberland, 91.1%; Barren River, 82.4%; and the easternmost region, from Lee to Pike counties, 80.15%.
The state’s seven-day coronavirus incidence rate kept declining, to 31.3 new cases per 100,000 population. That is the lowest in months. Counties with rates more than double the statewide rate are Owsley, 97.1; Russell, 94.9; Clinton, 85.3; McCreary, 81.2; Metcalfe, 68.1; and Marion, 66.

Counties with 10 or more new cases were: Jefferson, 255; Fayette, 150; Kenton, 78; Boone, 60; Daviess, 52; Campbell, 49; Warren, 46; Franklin, 39; Pulaski, 38; Barren, 35; Russell, 33; Taylor, 33; Hardin, 32; Bullitt, 28; Scott, 24; Nelson, 23; Jessamine, 22; Montgomery, 22; Graves, 21; McCracken, 21; Laurel, 20; Shelby, 20; Hopkins, 19; Floyd, 18; Madison., 18; Oldham, 17; Knox, Lincoln and Perry, 16; Boyd, 14; Whitley, 13; Butler Grant Mercer, Ohio and Wayne, 12; Bell, Grayson, Logan and Meade, 11; and Casey, Knott and Marion, 10.

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