By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News
Kentucky hit another daily record for new coronavirus cases, surging beyond the last record by more than 1,000 cases. It also has a new record high positivity rate, with nearly one in three Kentuckians testing positive for the virus.
Kentucky reported 16,130 new cases of the virus Friday, beating its previous record of 14,896 on Saturday, Jan. 15 by 1,234 cases. Of today’s cases, 25% are in people 18 and younger.
The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the past seven days also hit another record high, at 32.1%.
“Folks, take care of yourselves,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in a Facebook video. “New studies today absolutely prove that being vaccinated and boosted protects you from getting real sick from Omicron, and certainly wear the mask. It’s real helpful to prevent you from getting it.”
Beshear is referring to three Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports released today that offer real-world data showing that being fully vaccinated and boosted provide robust protection against severe disease from the Omicron variant, The Washington Post reports.
“One of the CDC reports analyzed data from hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits, urgent care visits and hospitalizations between August 2021 and Jan. 5, 2022. It showed that a third dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shots was 90% effective at preventing hospitalization, and 82% effective in preventing a trip to the emergency room or urgent care,” the Post reports.
Kentucky hospitals reported 2,347 Covid-19 patients, 49 more than Thursday; with 439 of them in intensive care (up five) and 268 on mechanical ventilation (down three).
Nine of the state’s 10 hospital regions are using at least 80% of their intensive-care capacity, with four of them above 90%. Northern Kentucky remains at 100% capacity.
The daily Covid-19 incidence rate in Kentucky is 237 cases per 100,000 residents. Eleven Kentucky counties are above 300 cases per 100,000; the lowest rate in the state is in McCreary County, at 52.2 cases per 100,000. The New York Times ranks Kentucky’s infection rate 16th among the states.
The state reported 28 more Covid-19 deaths, bringing Kentucky’s pandemic death toll to 12,686.