Ky. pandemic metrics down, except Covid-19 patients in hospitals; state’s infection rate still seventh in the nation

Ky. Dept. for Public Health chart, adapted by Ky. Health News; click on it to enlarge.

By Al Cross

Kentucky Health News
All measures of the pandemic in Kentucky declined Tuesday, except the number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals, a reminder that infection levels in the state are still high and the Delta variant of the coronavirus is more dangerous.
Kentucky hospitals reported 1,677 Covid-19 patients, nine more than Monday, with 494 of them in intensive care (down two) and 323 on mechanical ventilation (down nine).
Eight of the state’s 10 hospital regions reported more than 80 percent of their intensive-care beds occupied. Northern Kentucky had none available, Lake Cumberland was at 98% and Barren River at 96%. Southeastern Kentucky, at 93%, reported that half its beds were occupied by Covid-19 patients. (The state’s daily report lists the counties in each region.)
Kentucky’s seven-day infection rate, as calculated by The New York Times from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, remained seventh among the states. The state’s daily report showed a rate of 50.29 daily cases per 100,000 residents, down from 56.21 Monday and the lowest since Aug. 12.

Counties with rates more than double that rate on the state report were: Owsley, 155.3; Taylor, 128.1; Whitley, 110.7; Harlan, 109.8; and Perry, 109.3. The next 10 were Rockcastle, 100.1; Green 92.7; Grayson, 92.4; Pendleton, 92; Lawrence, 85.8; Muhlenberg, 82.6; Garrard 76; Bell, 75.2; Robertson, 74.5; and McCreary, 72.1.

The Times ranks Green and McCreary’s rates fifth and sixth in the nation, respectively, at 153 and 149 per 100,000; the state says the results are different due to different methodologies, such as its removal of duplicate test results. Because of these large disparities, Kentucky Health News is seeking a more detailed explanation.

The percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the coronavirus in the last seven days fell again, to 9.13%.
The state reported 2,582 new cases of the virus, lowering the seven-day rolling average by 81, to 2,579. It reported 15 more Covid-19 deaths, raising Kentucky’s toll to 8,921. The state is averaging about 40 deaths per day.
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