New-case average most since May 26, positive-test rate highest since March 3; hospitalizations most since June 5; shots stalled

Ky. Health News graph based on initial, unadjusted daily reports from state Dept. for Public Health

By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News

Major measures of the pandemic continued to increase in Kentucky Friday.

The state reported 541 new cases of the coronavirus, raising the average for the last seven days by 23, to 425. That’s the highest since May 26, more than seven weeks ago.

The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus jumped again, to 4.49%, 0.45 points higher than Thursday. The percentage has risen for 20 straight days and is now the highest it has been since March 3.

Kentucky hospitals reported the most Covid-19 patients in six weeks, 294. That was 30 more than Thursday and 47 more than the average for the past seven days. However, the number in intensive care and on ventilators declined, to 64 and 22, respectively.

The statewide infection rate rose for the 10th straight day, to 9.02 per 100,000 residents. A basic measure of the pandemic, it has more than doubled in the last eight days.

Counties with rates more than double the statewide rate are Muhlenberg, 31.3; Clay, 30.1; Hopkins, 30.1; Lewis, 29.1; Webster, 28.7; Whitley, 24.8; Hart, 24; Laurel, 19.5; Woodford, 19.2; Pike, 18.5; and Carter, 18.1.

Other counties above the statewide rate were Pulaski, 18; Logan, 17.9; Crittenden, 16.2; Simpson, 16.2; Livingston, 15.5; Carlisle, 15; Washington, 14.2; Martin, 14; McLean, 14; Barren, 13.6; Adair, 13.4; Henderson, 13.3; Hancock, 13.1; Metcalfe, 12.8; Warren12.6, Grant12.5; Perry, 12.2; Graves, 11.9; Knott, 11.6; Greenup, 11.4; Letcher, 11.3; Clark, 11; Boyle, 10.9; Jackson, 10.7; Daviess, 10.7; Green, 10.4; Harlan, 10.4; Hardin, 10.4; Mercer, 10.4; Boyd, 10.4, Bourbon, 10.1; Madison, 9.8; Nicholas, 9.8; Gallatin, 9.7; Lee, 9.6; Marion, 9.6; Fulton, 9.6; Boone, 9.2; Marshall, 9.2; and Fayette, 9.2.

The state reported three more Covid-19 deaths, raising the toll to 7,284.
Gov. Andy Beshear did not hold his regular news conference Thursday, but announced Friday that he and Health Commissioner Steven Stack would hold one at 4 p.m. Monday to discuss the Delta variant of the virus, which appears to be driving the surge in cases because it is much more contagious than others.

Kentucky’s vaccination rate rose slightly, to a seven-day average of 5,902, 12% better than the previous seven-day period according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. However, the rate has been mostly flat, at a low ebb, for about 10 days. Nationally, vaccinations “have largely stalled,” The New York Times reports. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, said “This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

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