Kentucky’s new-case rate is tops among the states for the fourth day in a row, even as most pandemic metrics in state decline

New York Times map, adapted by Ky. Health News, illustrates state’s No. 1 ranking. Click to enlarge.

Ky. Health News graph, from state data

By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News

Kentucky’s coronavirus-infection rate remains first among the states even as all measures of the pandemic, except deaths, continue to decline in the commonwealth.
The state reported 4,388 new virus cases Friday, slightly lowering the seven-day average to 3,765, with an infection rate of 62.55 daily cases per 100,000 residents. That is half what it was two weeks ago.
However, all states but Maine and Idaho had greater declines, so for four days in a row Kentucky has been the No. 1 state in The New York Times‘ rankings of rates, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
CDC and state figures differ due to methodologies, but have most of the same counties in the top 10. Counties with seven-day infection rates more than double the state rate are Lee, 318; Perry, 200; Leslie, 168; Floyd, 143; Breathitt, 139; Estill, 129; and Carter, 126. All are in Eastern Kentucky.
The state’s westernmost county, Fulton, became the first to drop into the state map’s yellow zone (for a moderate level of transmission) since the recent surge began in December. Its rate is 7.2. Four other counties in the Jackson Purchase (Ballard, Graves, Hickman and Calloway) are in orange, for 10 to 25 daily cases per 100,000, and rates in the other three counties (Carlisle, Marshall and McCracken) rates are around 27. But the rest of the state has only eight orange counties: Lyon, Todd, Owen, Gallatin, Boone, Kenton, Campbell and Pendleton.
The percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the last seven days declined again, to 14.34%. Its high was 33.1%, 26 days earlier.
Kentucky hospitals reported 96 fewer patients with Covid-19, a drop of almost 6% in one day. Of the 1,540 Covid patients, 292 were in intensive care (down 10) and 144 were on mechanical ventilation (down four).
Intensive-care units stayed busy. Of the state’s 10 hospital regions, only one, the northeast, reported less than 80% of ICU beds in use. Barren River and Northern Kentucky were highest, at 97.6% and 97.4%. Covid-19 patients’ share of ICU beds ranged from 8% to 31.5%.
The state attributed 46 more deaths to Covid-19, one of the higher daily figures recently. In the last seven days, the state has averaged almost 38 deaths per day; the 14-day average is almost 36 per day.
Chart by The Washington Post, adapted by Kentucky Health News; click on it to enlarge.
Previous Article
Next Article