Seven-day average of coronavirus cases is creeping up, and 11th in U.S., but positivity rate, a leading indicator, is inching down

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

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

While the seven-day average of coronavirus cases is creeping up and deaths from the virus remain high, the percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the last seven days is slowly going back down.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced on Facebook that there were 1,333 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday. That brings the state’s seven-day rolling average to 1,285 per day, up for the second day in a row and higher than it was three days ago.

Kentucky Health News graph; click on it to enlarge

The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the past seven days, which is considered a leading indicator, declined again, to 6.77%, dropping from 6.89% on Friday and 7.07% on Thursday.

The statewide rate of new cases over the last seven days is stable, at 23.46 cases per 100,000 people. Counties with rates more than double that rate are Taylor, with 47.7 per 100,000; Russell, 52.6; and Caldwell, 60.5.

Forty of the state’s 120 counties are in the most critical red zone, for counties with 25 or more cases per 100,000 people. The state ranked 11th in the daily listing of state new-case rates by The New York Times.

Hospital numbers remain largely stable;  921 people are hospitalized in Kentucky with Covid-19 (down two from yesterday); 245 in intensive care (down 20); and 125 of those on a ventilator (down six).

Two of the state’s 10 hospital readiness regions are using more than 80% of their intensive-care beds: Lake Cumberland, 86.7; and the easternmost region, from Lee to Pike counties, 83.8%.

The daily vaccination report shows that 570,463 Kentuckians have received a dose of coronavirus vaccine.

Groups 1A and 1B continue to be the priority groups for vaccination across the state, which includes residents and staff in long-term-care and assisted-living facilities, health-care personnel, anyone 70 and older, first responders, K-12 school personnel, and as of this week, child-care workers.

The next group, 1C, includes anyone 60 and older, anyone 16 and older with certain health conditions and all essential workers. On Friday, Beshear said he believes the state will move to this category in early March, if not sooner.

Click here to learn when you can get vaccinated and here to learn more about where you can get a shot.

KHN chart; deaths are listed after sometimes lengthy case reviews

Beshear reported 25 new deaths, 22 of them confirmed and three of them probable. The death toll from the virus is now 4,426. The 14-day death average is 29; the seven-day death average is 22.The state Department for Public Health does not provide a list of deaths by age, gender and county on the weekends.

Counties with 10 or more new cases on Saturday were Jefferson, 205; Kenton, 75; Fayette, 70; Boone, 65; Laurel, 50; Christian, 44; Whitley, 41; Warren, 37; Hardin, 33; Daviess, 31; Scott and Taylor, 24; Pike, 23; Barren, 21; Franklin, 20; Bullitt and McCreary, 18; Shelby, 17; Bell, Madison and Rowan, 16; Campbell, Morgan and Russell, 13; Jessamine, Logan and Powell, 12; Hopkins, 11; Grayson, Green, Leslie, McCracken and Mercer, 10.

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