Coronavirus positive-test rate in Ky. went up again, but more slowly, as cases, deaths and hospitalizations dropped last week

State Department for Public Health map, adapted by Kentucky Health News; to enlarge, click on it.

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

Three key metrics of the coronavirus in Kentucky dropped last week, including new cases, deaths and hospitalizations. However, the share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus rose to 11.2 percent from 10.5 percent.

The state’s weekly report shows the share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the reporting week has gone up eight straight weeks, from a low of 1.97%. The figures do not include results from home tests.

The report, for the last Monday-to-Sunday reporting period, showed 7,140 new cases of the virus, an average of 1,020 per day. That’s a 12% drop from the 1,161 daily rate the week before.

The state reported a case-incidence rate of 21.68 cases per 100,000 residents in the week ended May 30, down from 23.84 per 100,000 people the previous week. Twenty-eight Kentucky counties had higher rates; the top 10 were Clark, 36.6; Jefferson, 35.3; Woodford, 34.2; McCracken, 33.8; Fayette 33.8; Anderson, 30.8; Scott, 29.8; Harrison, 28; Boyd, 27.5; and Perry, 26.1.

The New York Times reported a much lower rate of 8 cases per 100,000, giving Kentucky the lowest infection rate among the states, with a 66% drop in cases in the last 14 days. The Times map says the state’s highest rate, 123 per 100,000, is in Henry County and it reported 20 cases per day in the last week.

The state attributed 37 more deaths to Covid-19 last week, an average of 5.29 deaths per day. That’s the lowest daily rate for a week since Aug 8, 2021. The state’s pandemic death toll is now 15,945.

Kentucky’s Covid-19 hospitalization numbers remain low. Hospitals reported 234 Covid-19 patients Monday, down 30 from 264 a week earlier, with 29 in intensive care and nine on mechanical ventilation.

The report shows 73.67% of the state’s intensive-care beds occupied, with the Northern Kentucky region using 97% of its ICU beds, down from 100% last week. Of the ICU patients, only 3.1% have Covid-19, but that is up from the 1.4% reported last week.

Covid-19 vaccinations and boosters continue to protect against the virus, hospitalizations and death. State data compiled from March 1, 2021 through May 26, 2022 shows that 72.5% of cases; 81.3% of Covid-19 hospitalizations and 74.7% of Covid-19 deaths are among Kentuckians who are either partially vaccinated or unvaccinated.

So far, 57% of Kentucky’s total population and 61% of the eligible population, 5 and older, are fully vaccinated and 45% of those who are fully vaccinated have been boosted.

The Washington Post reports that an average of 3,581 doses of vaccine per day were administered in Kentucky in the last week, a 16% increase over the previous week before.

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