All key metrics to measure the coronavirus in Ky. are creeping up, as state slips to 37th in the share of population fully vaccinated

Map by The Washington Post; for a larger version, click on it.

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

Even as the national Covid-19 risk map shows low risk of community transmission in all but four Kentucky counties, all the metrics used to measure the coronavirus in Kentucky went up last week.

The state’s report for the last Monday-to-Sunday reporting period showed 3,394 new cases of the virus, an average of 485 per day, up 13 percent from 428 cases per day the week before.

Of this week’s new cases, 22% were in people 18 and younger.

The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus during the week is 5.67%, an increase from 4.35% the week before and up from a low of 1.97% four weeks ago. The figures do not include results of at-home tests.

The statewide seven-day infection rate also continues to creep up. That rate is 9.65 daily cases per 100,000 residents, up from 6.49 in the prior week’s report. The only two counties with rates more than double that rate are Jefferson (23.8) and Caldwell (21.3).

And as the infection rate goes up, the number of counties with no daily cases drops. Only 10 counties had none in the latest report, and 110 did. The week prior, 100 had cases.

The New York Times ranks Kentucky’s infection rate 26th among the states and Washington, D.C., with an 11% increase in cases over the last 14 days.

The state attributed 156 more deaths to Covid-19 last week, an average of 22.3 per day. The week before, it was 16.6 per day. The state’s pandemic death toll is now 15,568.

Kentucky hospitals reported 187 Covid-19 patients on Monday, with 31 in intensive care and 13 on mechanical ventilation. Again, all of these numbers are more than the prior week.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that nearly 60% of Americans, including 75% of children, had been infected with the coronavirus, a rate that increased dramatically from December to February.

That’s still no reason for people with detectable antibodies from a previous infection to pass up getting a Covid-19 vaccination, said the CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky: “We do know that reinfections happen, so that’s important in terms of thinking forward.”

The Washington Post reports that in the week ended May 2, an average of 3,453 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were given per day in Kentucky, an 11% decrease over the week before, So far, 61% of Kentucky’s eligible population, 5 and older, have been fully vaccinated and 44.3% of the fully vaccinated people have received a booster shot.
In percentage of the full population vaccinated, Kentucky has slipped just behind West Virginia in the national rankings, 57.4% to 57.6%, and ranks 37th in the nation. Among the other adjoining states, three are lower than Kentucky and three are higher; Ohio ranks just ahead of West Virginia, and Illinois and Virginia are above the national average of 66.2%.
On that front, Valarie Honeycutt Spears of the Lexington Herald-Leader reports, “A McCracken County High School teacher has been temporarily suspended with pay following an allegation that they created fraudulent Covid-19 vaccine cards for six students to use during a recent field trip.”
Jayme Jones, director of public relations for the school district, told the Herald-Leader that the district could not elaborate on specific personnel actions or situations, and “The teacher has been temporarily suspended with pay pending the results of the ongoing investigation.”
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