Weekly coronavirus cases are down, but weekly percentage of positive tests is up; statewide Covid-19 death toll reaches 6,250

Picture of a coronavirus. Text: Covid-19 update

By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News

Kentucky had fewer coronavirus cases in the last week than the week before, but the share of residents who tested positive for the virus went up.

The state reported 366 new cases of the virus, 67 more than last Sunday, and the seven-day rolling average of new cases rose by 10, to 535 per day.

But lower daily case numbers earlier in the Monday-to-Sunday reporting week made a total of 3,742 new cases, 14 percent less than the 4,373 initially recorded last week. Those numbers are totals of unadjusted daily reports; adjusted totals are reported on Mondays.

The percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the last seven days rose to 3.08%, almost 0.3 percentage points higher than the 2.79% average on Friday, which was the lowest in more than nine months.

The statewide average of daily new cases over the last seven days is 10.35 per 100,000 residents, a rate 0.3 above Saturday’s. Kentucky’s rate dropped to 38th among the states in The New York Times tracking, from 35th on Saturday.

Counties with seven-day averages more than double the state’s rate were Powell, 28.9 per 100,000 residents; Robertson, 27.1; Harlan, 26.9; Allen, 26.8; Bracken, 25.8; Bath, 25.1; Menifee, 24.2; McCreary, 22.4; Lawrence, 22.4; Simpson, 22.3, Mason, 21.8; Casey, 21.2; and Floyd, 20.9.

The state added nine more fatalities to its list of Covid-19 deaths, raising the death toll to 6,250. Eight were from regular health-department reports and one was from the ongoing audit of death certificates.

The 14-day rolling average of regularly reported deaths remained at 8.93 per day. Saturday, the state corrected its Thursday report, which should have attributed nine of the day’s 16 deaths to the audit. As usual for a weekend, there was no itemized list of deaths by age, county, sex and date of death.

In other pandemic-related news Sunday:

  • Counties with five or more new cases on the state’s daily report were Jefferson, 87; Fayette, 58; Franklin, 11; Clark, 10; Daviess, 10; Bell, 9; Scott, 9; Carter, 8; Warren, 8; Floyd, 7; Rockcastle, 7; Bullitt, 6; Kenton, 6; Jessamine, 5; and Magoffin, 5.
  • Kentucky hospitals reported 379 Covid-19 patients, nine more than Saturday. The number in intensive care was unchanged, at 92; the number on ventilators rose three, to 51.
  • Two of the 10 hospital regions reported more than 80% of their intensive-care beds in use: Lake Cumberland, 87%; and the easternmost region, from Lee to Pike counties, 81%.
  • The U.S. set another record for daily vaccinations Saturday, 4.6 million, CNN reports.
  • More than half a million Americans have taken advantage of the special open enrollment for subsidized coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reports. “With the special enrollment period now extended through Aug. 15, to be followed by normal annual enrollment beginning in November, the number obtaining coverage in ACA marketplaces could soon top its all-time high of 12.7 million,” recorded in 2016, CNN reports. “Under Biden’s protection now, Obama’s legacy achievement appears likely to remain a durable feature of the American landscape.”
  • In Kentucky, there have been 4,280 enrollments in the period, which began Feb. 15. That is 36% more than the 3,149 who signed up during the same period last year, when enrollment was open only to people who had “qualifying life events,” such as loss of health coverage, change in qualifying income status, change in marital status, a birth or adoption, a death in the family or moving to a new ZIP code. There are no such limitations in the special period.
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