New coroanvirus cases went up again last week, after a week of decline; N.Y. Times says state’s infection rate is still 2nd highest

New York Times map, adapted by Ky. Health News, shows state is a national hot spot. Click it to enlarge.

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

After dropping 7.7% the previous week, new coronavirus cases in Kentucky increased 6.8% last week and the share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus continued to rise, according to the state Department of Public Health.

The state’s report for the Monday-to-Sunday reporting period, says Kentucky had 15,652 new cases last week, an average of 2,236 cases per day. That’s a 6.8% increase from the prior week when it was 2,093.

Nearly 16% of the new cases were in people 18 and younger. Health officials continue to urge families to get their children vaccinated against Covid-19 as schools begin to start. So far, state data shows that fewer than 46% of Kentucky’s school age children have been fully vaccinated, and that number is even lower for children between 5 and 11: only 20%.

The percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the coronavirus increased to 18.41%, up from 17.89% the week before. This does not include at-home tests.

The statewide incidence rate of new cases declined again, to 39.05 per 100,000 residents. Last week that rate was 40.52. The top 10 counties were: Leslie, 137.4; McCreary, 116.1; Perry, 103.7; Floyd, 77.5; Knott, 77.2; Harlan, 68.7; Rowan, 66.0; Knox, 64.2; Lee, 63.7; and McLean, 62.1.

The New York Times still ranks Kentucky’s infection rate second among the states, with a 38% increase in cases in the last 14 days. It says Perry County has the nation’s highest rate, 148 per 100,000, not counting some areas of Puerto Rico. State officials have attributed the disparities to differing methodologies, including the state’s removal of duplicate test results.

Hospitals reported that Covid-19 hospitalizations increased, but fewer Covid-19 patients were in intensive care. Kentucky hospitals reported 623 Covid-19 patients on Monday, up 21 from a week earlier. They reported 74 intensive-care patients, down 15, and 27 on mechanical ventilation, down six.

The state attributed 67 more deaths to Covid-19 last week, up from 45 the week before. That was the largest weekly total since 79 in mid-May, when the numbers were falling after four months with most weeks in triple digits. The pandemic death toll is now 16,464.


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