New coronavirus cases in Kentucky drop for 6th straight week, but state ranks 8th in U.S.; positive-test rate drops for 4th day in row

New York Times map, adapted; click it to enlarge; click here for interactive version with county data

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

Cases of the novel coronavirus in Kentucky have declined for the sixth week in a row, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Sunday.

Final numbers for the Monday-to-Sunday reporting week will be issued Monday, but the unadjusted daily total for the last week is 8,263, well below the 11,008 reported last week and far below the high of 26,799 the week of Jan. 4-10.

The state reported 979 new cases of the virus on Sunday, bringing its seven-day rolling average down to 1,180 per day. This number ticked up for the last two days; it was 1,285 yesterday.

Though case numbers are on the decline in Kentucky and most of the nation, Kentucky again ranks in the top 10 states for the number of cases per 100,000 population, according to the The New York Times, which ranked the state eighth for this measure on Sunday. Kentucky’s rate declined, but most other high-ranking states’ rates declined more.

The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus continues to decline slowly. That rate on Sunday was 6.72 percent, down from 6.77% on Saturday, 6.89% on Friday and 7.07% on Thursday. Health officials say the rate needs to be below 5% to prevent community spread of the virus.

Hospital numbers showed slight increases; 902 people were hospitalized in Kentucky with Covid-19 on Sunday (up 19 from Saturday), 248 of them in intensive care (up 3) and 148 of those on ventilators (up 23). The percentage of intensive-care patients on ventilators was an unusually high 59.7%.

Two of the 10 hospital readiness regions are using more than 80% of their intensive-care beds: Lake Cumberland, 91.1%, with 22.2% of those beds being used for Covid-19 patients; and the easternmost region, from Lee to Pike counties, 85.3%, with 15.4% of those beds occupied by Covid-19 patients.

The daily vaccination report shows 575,612 Kentuckians have received an initial dose of a vaccine.

Click here to learn when you can get vaccinated and here to learn more about where you can get a shot. Beshear announced last week that 291 vaccination sites will be available in Kentucky this week.

The state’s seven-day coronavirus incidence rate remains stable, at 23.12 per 100,000 on Sunday.  Counties with rates more than double the statewide rate are Bell, with 46.6 per 100,000; and Caldwell, 63.9.

Beshear reported 21 more Covid-19 deaths, 16 confirmed and five probable. That brings the state’s death toll to 4,447.

Nationwide, the death toll from the virus topped 500,000 on Sunday. That equals the size of a major city, The Washington Post notes, with graphics depicting just how many people that is.

The state Department for Public Health dies not provide a list of deaths by age, gender and county on the weekends.

Counties with 10 or more new cases on Sunday were Jefferson, 145; Fayette, 88; Oldham, 42; Kenton, 35; Boone, 30; Bullitt and Warren, 29; Pike, 26; Daviess, 22; Barren, 21; Hardin and Jessamine, 19; Campbell and Scott, 18; Franklin and Laurel, 17; Nelson, 15; Bell. Boyd and Madison, 14; Hart and McCracken, 13; Christian, Livingston and Taylor, 12; Shelby, 11; and Henderson, Hopkins and Whitley, 10.

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