Pandemic keeps accelerating in Kentucky, more so than in the rest of the nation; hospitalizations have risen 58% in last week

New York Times new-case map shows Kentucky’s increase in the last 14 days is higher than most.

By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News

The pandemic continued to accelerate in Kentucky Tuesday, as the state reported 1,803 new cases of the coronavirus, the most in one day since Feb. 11. That raised the seven-day rolling average to 1,470 cases per day; six weeks ago it was only 175. The average is doubling every 11 days.

The surge driven by the more contagious Delta variant is stronger in Kentucky than in the nation as a whole. The average is 8.4 times what it was six weeks ago; the national average has increased by a factor of 6.8. The New York Times says Kentucky’s increase in the last two weeks is 13th in the nation.

The statewide new-case rate for the last week is 31.2 per 100,000 residents, well into the red “critical” zone of the state Department for Public Health. The top three counties adjoin each other: Clay, with a rate of 108; Jackson, 81.5; and Laurel, 73.8.

Other counties with rates above 50 per 100,000 for the last seven days are Floyd, 70.6; Hart, 69; Carter, 59.7; Webster, 59.6; Muhlenberg, 59.2; Letcher, 59; Knox, 56.4; Metcalfe, 55.3; Whitley, 55.2; Knott, 54; Henderson, 53.1; Hopkins, 53.1; and Leslie, 52.1.

The percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the last seven days is 9.88%. The percentage has risen for 40 consecutive days from 1.79% on June 25, the low ebb of the pandemic in Kentucky.

The number of Covid-19 patients in Kentucky hospitals continued to rise, to 824, with 263 of them in intensive care and 96 of those on mechanical ventilation. Total Covid-19 hospitalizations in the state are the most since Feb. 24, and have increased 58% in the last week. The national increase was 42%.

Other pandemic news Tuesday: Gov. Andy Beshear reversed yesterday’s announcement and said workers at state-run health facilities will not have to be vaccinated, but must be tested at least twice a week if they aren’t; Kentucky health departments are again offering free testing and drive-thru clinics; Northern Kentucky University will require masks, and so will Fayette County schools.

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