A six-week surge of the coronavirus has put Ky. about where it was six months ago, but then it was going down; now it’s going up

Ky. Health News graph, based on initial, unadjusted daily reports; to enlarge, click on it.

By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News

Six weeks of the Delta variant have put the pandemic in Kentucky about where it was six months ago, but then it was coming off its biggest surge. Just how big the current surge will get is anybody’s guess, because vaccinations are rising more slowly than new cases are increasing and the coronavirus is mutating.

Kentucky reported 2,612 new cases of the virus Friday, the largest in one day since Jan. 30. That raised the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases by more than 100, to 1,820 per day. That’s the highest since Feb. 10.

The average has increased 175 percent over the last two weeks, giving Kentucky the nation’s 14th highest rate of increase, according to The New York Times.

Covid-19 hospitalizations and intensive-care cases continued to rise, to the point that more than 1,000 Kentuckians are likely to be hospitalized with the disease this weekend. Hospitals in the state reported 976 cases, 286 of them in intensive care and 121 of those on mechanical ventilation. The next report will be Monday.

Covid-19 deaths, a lagging indicator of the pandemic, are starting to creep up. The state reported six more Friday, raising Kentucky’s toll to 7,372 and the seven-day average to 5.4, the highest since mid-June.

Gov. Andy Beshear said in a Facebook post, “Folks, we’ve got too much to lose. Let us never forget what we are fighting for. Do the right thing – get vaccinated and mask up when indoors.”

The  percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus increased for the 43rd day in a row, to 10.46%.

The daily new-case rate for the last seven days is 38.98 per 100,000 residents. Counties with rates more than double that rate are Clay, 114.9; Hart, 87.8; Webster, 82.8; Floyd, 82.3; Laurel, 81; and Carter, 78.4.

Vaccinations continued to creep up. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11,850 doses were reported Friday, raising the daily average over the last seven days to 10,196. It had not been above 10,000 since July 1.

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