New-case and positive-test averages stable as U.S. numbers rise

Kentucky Health News graph, based on initial, unadjusted case numbers announced daily

By Al Cross

Kentucky Health News
As national numbers suggested the pandemic is expanding again, Kentucky’s numbers of new coronavirus cases keep falling, but just barely.
The state reported 637 new cases Saturday, making its seven-day rolling average 601, just one less than Friday. The statewide rate of new cases over the last week fell to 10.8 per 100,000 population, and Kentucky’s rate fell to 30th among the states, according to The New York Times data tracker.
Kentucky ranked in the top 10 a few weeks ago, but as its new-case numbers have fallen, those in most other states have picked up. The Times’s national two-week average is 8 percent higher than it was two weeks ago.
The percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus remained at 2.8%, the same as Friday and a little more than half of what it was a month ago.
Counties with seven-day new-case rate that were more than double the statewide rate were Simpson, 46.9 per 100,000; Owsley, 42.1; Powell, 31.2; Whitley, 27.6; Lee, 27; Knox, 24.3; McCreary, 24; and Lyon, 22.6.
Counties with 10 or more new cases Saturday were Jefferson, 86; Fayette, 53; Adair, 32; Warren, 24; Scott, 22; Christian, 20; Hardin, 19; Boone, 17; Daviess, 17; Lee, 14; Kenton, 13; Whitley, 12; Barren, Hopkins and McCracken, 11; and Pulaski, 10.
The state added 15 more deaths to its official Covid-19 toll, 13 confirmed and two probable, for a total of 6,023. As usual for a Saturday, it did not itemize the deaths by county, age and sex, and did not add any deaths from its ongoing audit of death certificates.
Over the last two weeks, the state has added a daily average of 21 regularly reported deaths to the list. In the previous two weeks, the average was 24.4 per day; in the two weeks before that, it was 25.4 a day.
The share of Covid-19 deaths in long-term care facilities has dropped to 39.4%. It was as high as 60%, but residents and staffers of the facilities were given top priority for vaccinations.
Kentucky hospitals reported 400 Covid-19 patients, 17 more than Friday but still 38 fewer than the average for the last two weeks; 92 of them were in intensive care and 46 of those were being mechanically ventilated.
Only one of the 10 hospital readiness regions reported more than 80% of its intensive-care beds in use: Lake Cumberland, at 89%.
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