Statewide pandemic metrics mostly stable, but hospital numbers keep rising; Bourbon County shifts to in-home schooling

Kentucky Dept. for Public Health map, adapted by Kentucky Health News; to enlarge, click on it.

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

Kentucky reported 1,821 new coronavirus cases Tuesday, raising the seven-day average by 3, to 1,394; 28% of the new cases are in people 18 and younger.

All hospital numbers went up Tuesday. Kentucky hospitals reported 739 Covid-19 patients, 20 more than Monday; 204 intensive care unit patients (up 13); and 115 of them on mechanical ventilation (up 10). The number of Covid-19 patients has increased on six of the last seven days.

Nine of the state’s 10 hospital regions are using at least 80% of their intensive-care beds, with four of them above 90%; the Barren River region around Bowling Green is highest, at 96%.

The percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the coronavirus in the last seven days is 5.73%, the same as Monday.

The New York Times ranks Kentucky’s infection rate 24th among the states and says it has increased 13% in the last 14 days.

Sixty-seven of the state’s 120 counties have over 25 daily cases per 100,000 residents in the last seven days, which is considered a high level of transmission.

The state says its seven-day infection rate is 27.08 daily cases per 100,000 residents, slightly higher than Monday. Counties with rates more than double that rate are Breckinridge, 85.8; Magoffin, 84.6; Monroe, 69.8; Bourbon, 66.4; Harrison, 62.8; and Powell, 59.

Bourbon County schools have gone to non-traditional instruction for the next five days due to the increase in cases, Chelsea Jones reports for WKYT-TV.

School officials told WKYT that they are seeing many cases among 11-to-17-year-olds, and are urging parents to get their students vaccinated. The district will host a vaccine clinic Thursday.

District Health Coordinator Deanna Berry told the Lexington station that nearly 50% of the county’s eligible students and nearly 80% of its staff are vaccinated.

Across the state, 5% of 5-to-11-year-olds, 43% of 12-to-15-year-olds and 47% of 16- and 17-year-olds have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Statewide, 2.6 million Kentuckians have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, or 59% of the total population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 60.5% of the state’s eligible population is fully vaccinated.

Fayette County leads the state with 70% of its population vaccinated with at least one dose, followed by Woodford (69%), Jefferson (66%), Perry (65%) and Campbell (64%). The lowest five are Spencer (29%), Christian (34%), Edmonson (35%), Elliott (35%) and Hart (36%).

The state reported 38 more Covid-19 deaths Tuesday, raising Kentucky’s pandemic death toll to 10,318. The seven-day average of reported deaths is 36.7; the 14-day average is 34.6.

Nursing homes and assisted-living facilities welcomed new federal guidelines allowing traditional visitation, based on high levels of vaccination, Phil Pendleton reports for WKYT.

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