Coronavirus numbers explode; positive-test rate also at new high; seven-day average of new cases has doubled in one week

Gov. Andy Beshear donned a mask Wednesday as he concluded his pandemic report on Facebook.

By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News

Kentucky reported 9,807 new cases of the coronavirus Wednesday, an explosion that far exceeded the record of 6,915 set the day before.
Likewise, the percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the last seven days hit another new high, 22.89%.
The state’s seven-day infection rate was 123 new cases per 100,000 residents, meaning that of every 10,000 Kentuckians, more than 12 have been identified as coronavirus cases in the last seven days. Tuesday, the rate was 109.
The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 5,735, more than 600 above Tuesday’s figure and more than double last Wednesday’s 2,832.
As steep as those increases are, they are not as steep as those seen in the rest of the nation. The state’s infection rate ranks 30th among the states and its rate of increase in the last 14 days, 129%, is 34th, according to The New York Times. The national increase in the same period has been 254%.
Health experts say hospital numbers are likely to be the critical statistics, since the now-dominant Omicron variant of the virus seems to cause milder cases though it is one of the most infectious viruses ever found.
Kentucky hospitals reported 1,704 Covid-19 patients at midnight Wednesday, 58 more than Tuesday, with 394 of them in intensive care (up by 1) and 211 on mechanical ventilation (down 35, or 14%).
Eight of Kentucky’s hospital-readiness regions reported more than 80% of their intensive-care beds in use, with five of them above 90%. The Barren River region, which includes Bowling Green, was highest at 98.45%.
“Omicron is surging; more cases than we ever thought possible in any given day,” Gov. Andy Beshear said on Facebook. “Everybody needs to not only be vaccinated, but get boosted. If you’re eligible for your booster and you haven’t gotten it yet, get it tonight or get it tomorrow. Do not wait.”
Holding up an N95 mask, Beshear also urged his audience to mask up. “Folks, wearing these masks right now protect you. Otherwise, you’ll be getting this, you’ll be spreading it, and I know no one wants that to happen. So please be careful during this period of time. Thank you.”
The state reported 29 more Covid-19 deaths, bringing Kentucky’s pandemic death toll to 12,284.
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