Coronavirus positive-test rate in Ky. rose from 3.12% to 4.35% last week, even as cases and Covid-19 hospital numbers dropped

Kentucky Health News map with Dept. for Public Health data on GISGeography base map

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the coronavirus went up for the third week in a row last week, but coronavirus cases and hospitalizations for Covid-19 dropped.

The state’s report for the last Monday-to-Sunday reporting period showed the percentage of Kentuckians testing positive in the past seven days is 4.35 percent, a significant increase from 3.12% the week before and up from a low of 1.97% three weeks ago. Public-health experts say a level of 5% or more is concerning.

The figures do not include results of at-home tests.

The state reported 2,997 new cases of the virus in the reporting week, an average of 428 per day, down almost 8% from 465 a day the week before.

Of this week’s new cases, nearly 21% were in people 18 and younger.

The statewide seven-day infection rate is 6.49 daily cases per 100,000 residents, up from 5.63 in the prior week’s report. Counties with rates more than double the state rate were Jefferson, 14.7; Mason, 14.2; Bath, 13.7; and Robertson, 13.6.

The New York Times ranks Kentucky’s infection rate 15th among the states and Washington, D.C., with a 7% decrease in cases over the last 14 days.

The state attributed 116 more deaths to Covid-19 last week, an average of 16.6 per day. The week before, it was 13.9 per day; the week after it was 24.6 per day. The state’s pandemic death toll is now 15,413.

Kentucky hospitals reported 166 patients with Covid-19, with only 24 in intensive care and eight on mechanical ventilation, all fewer than the previous week, though the declines are less than the week before.

Again, very few intensive-care beds in Kentucky are being used for Covid-19 patients, but five of the state’s 10 hospital regions are using at least 80% of their intensive-care beds. Statewide, 77% of the beds are in use.

Kentuckians are still encouraged to get a Covid-19 vaccination or boosted.

The Washington Post reports that a daily average of 3,885 doses of Covid-19 vaccine were given in Kentucky last week, an 18% drop from the week before. The Post reports that 61% of Kentucky’s eligible population, 5 and older, are fully vaccinated and 44% of fully vaccinated people have received a booster shot.

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