Kentucky’s Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations keep rising, somewhat steeply, but the positive-test rate is slightly lower

Kentucky Health News graph, from state data; click on it to enlarge.

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

While coronavirus cases and Covid-19 hospitalizations in Kentucky went up last week, at much the same acceleration as the week before, the share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus went down just a bit.

The state’s weekly report shows the share of Kentuckians testing positive in the last Monday-to-Sunday reporting period, while still high, dropped .35 percentage points to 12.07%, from 12.42% the prior week. The figures do not include results of home tests.

New cases have been on the rise for several weeks. This week’s report showed 13,497 new cases of the virus, an average of 1,928 per day. That’s 38% more than the week before, when the rate was 1,394 cases per day. Of this week’s new cases, 14% of them are in people 18 and younger.

The New York Times ranks Kentucky’s infection rate 15th among the states and Washington, D.C., with a 42% increase in cases in the last two weeks.

Despite the big increase in cases, the statewide incidence rate rose only a little, to 24.42 cases per 100,000 residents, from 23.97 the week before. The top 10 counties for this measure are: Carter, 48.5; Rowan, 45; Leslie, 40.5; McCracken, 39.5; Clark, 38.6; Boyd, 37; Lawrence, 36.4; Bourbon, 36.1; Wolfe, 35.9; and Monroe, 34.9.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department reported Monday that Lexington has had 100,649 total cases of the virus and 625 Covid-19 deaths. The current seven-day rolling average in Lexington is 147 cases a day, compared to 90 per day a month ago, says the health department.

The best protection against the virus is to get fully vaccinated and boosted, along with wearing a mask in indoor places, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth and regularly washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, the health department reminded in a news release.

The state reported 59 more Covid-19 deaths last week, an average of 8.4 per day, the same as the previous week. The state’s pandemic death toll is now 16,063.

Kentucky’s Covid-19 hospitalization numbers remain low, but have increased a bit.  Kentucky hospitals reported 352 patients with Covid-19 Monday, up from 299 a week ago, with 50 in intensive care (up 16) and 25 on mechanical ventilation (up eight).

Statewide, 75% of intensive-care beds are in use, with four of the state’s hospital regions using at least 80%. Northern Kentucky continues to have the highest rate of intensive care bed use, at 98.68%, but only 4.8% of those patients have Covid-19.

The latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention national Covid-19 risk map, which measures cases and hospital capacity, shows 19 Kentucky counties with a high level of coronavirus transmission and 28 with a medium level of risk. The map is updated on Thursday evenings.

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