‘Things will get worse before they get better, but we can fight this,’ Beshear says as pandemic accelerates again in Kentucky

State Dept. for Public Health map, adapted by Ky. Health News; for a larger version, click on it.

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

As the pandemic continues to surge in Kentucky because of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, every metric used to measure it is on the rise.

The state reported 2,583 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, with 512 of them in people under 19, or 20 percent of the cases. The daily number was the highest since Feb. 11.

It raised the seven-day rolling average by more than 100, to 1,597 cases per day. That figure is now more than doubling every 10 days, faster than before, and the two-week rate of increase, 175%, is 14th in the nation.

“We are not moving in the right direction,” Gov. Andy Beshear said with some understatement on a Facebook post to announce the rising numbers. “And remember, with more cases comes more death.”

The state reported 10 more Covid-19 deaths Wednesday, the highest daily total in eight weeks. Beshear said one of the deaths was a 21-year-old from Daviess County. The state’s pandemic death toll is 7,362.

Hospitalizations also continue to rise. Kentucky hospitals reported 889 Covid-19 patients, with 275 of them in intensive care and 100 of those on a ventilator.

“This is serious,” Beshear said. “The Delta variant is real and we have to be willing to do what it takes. Folks, you need to get vaccinated. Things will get worse before they get better, but we can fight this. We can reduce the loss and the damage if you’re willing to get vaccinated.”

Also, the governor said Kentuckians need to be wearing masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status.

The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the last seven days passed the 10% mark and is 10.08%.

The rate of daily new cases in the last seven days is 34.39 per 100,000 residents. Counties with double that rate are Clay, 108.4; Hart, 76.6; Webster, 74.0; Laurel, 73.5; Floyd, 71.9; Carter, 68.2; and Metcalfe, 68.1.

The surge in cases appears to have sparked a lesser surge in vaccinations in Kentucky. Another 11,862 were reported Wednesday, making the average for the last seven days 9,803. It’s been more than a month since the weekly average was that high; the last seven days saw 35% more shots than the previous seven, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data processed by The Washington Post.

Statewide, 52.7% of the total population and 61.8% of the eligible population (12 and older) has received at least one dose of vaccine.

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