Coronavirus positive-test rate and new cases, and Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths, are all rising again in Kentucky

Kentucky Health News graph, from weekly state reports

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

As in most other states, the metrics used to measure Covid-19 in Kentucky have ticked up again.

The state’s weekly report, for the last Monday-to-Sunday reporting period, showed 3,957 new cases of the virus, an average of 565 cases per day. That’s 16.5 percent more than the 485 daily cases the week before, and 32% more than the 428-per-day average of two weeks ago.

Of last week’s new cases, nearly 20% were in people 18 and younger.

The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus last week was 7.19%, up from 5.67% the week before and well above a low of 1.97% five weeks ago. The figures do not include results of home tests.

The state attributed 167 more deaths to Covid-19 last week, an average of 23.9 per day. The week before, it was 22.3 per day. The state’s pandemic death toll is now 15,568.

Kentucky hospitals reported 239 Covid-19 patients on Monday, 27.8% more than the previous Monday.

Dept. for Public Health map, adapted by Ky. Health News; click to enlarge

The statewide seven-day infection rate also went up again. That rate is now 11.95 cases per 100,000 residents, up from 9.65 daily cases per 100,000 the week before. Louisville and Jefferson County led the way, with a rate of 29.5 per 100,000. The only other county with a rate more than double the state rate was Henry, at 25.7.

Covid-19 cases in the state’s second largest county are also on the rise again, Christopher Leach reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department “reported 101 new cases Friday, which is the first time since March 3 that there were over 100 cases in a day. That brought the seven-day rolling average up to 73, which is 16 more cases than the average one week ago and more than double the average from three weeks ago,” Leach reports.

“It’s important to complete the Covid-19 vaccination series, including all recommended booster doses,” the department said on its Facebook page.

Vaccinations have slowed again in Kentucky. The Washington Post reports that in the last week, an average of 2,993 doses were administered per day, a 13% decrease over the week before. The Post reports that 61% of the state’s eligible population, 5 and older, are fully vaccinated and 44.4% of the fully vaccinated people have received a booster shot.

The New York Times ranks Kentucky’s infection rate 33rd among the states and Washington, D.C., with a 1% increase in cases in the last 14 days.

“Cases are increasing in all but seven states and territories, and in more than a dozen, the daily case average is twice as high today as it was two weeks ago,” the Times reports, adding that “Coronavirus cases have doubled in the past month as Omicron subvariants have spread across the country.”

A study published last week said some subvariants are defeating immunity gained from previous infection.

Last week, Gov. Andy Beshear said at his weekly press conference that it is not yet time to be concerned about another surge of cases because the severity of disease among people who are getting infected is not causing an increase in hospitalizations at this time.

This week’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention risk map, which considers both cases and hospitalizations, says that only three Western Kentucky counties are yellow, for counties with a medium level of the virus. They are Union, Henderson and McCracken counties.

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