|New York Times graphs, from state data, adapted by Kentucky Health News; click image to enlarge
By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News
Kentucky recorded 40 percent more new coroinavirus cases last week than the week before, despite the Christmas holiday that probably limited reporting.
The state Department for Public Health
‘s latest weekly report
showed 8,920 new cases, or 1,274 per day. The previous week’s total was 6,376, or 911 per day.
The share of people testing positive for the virus rose to 12.23%, up from 9.85%. That’s an increase of 24 percent and does not include at-home tests.
|Ky. Dept. for Public Health map, adapted by Ky. Health News
The New York Times ranked Kentucky’s rate of new cases over the last seven days ninth among the states, with a 44% increase in the last two weeks, second only to Michigan’s 55%. Tennessee was redder than Kentucky on the Times’ county-by-county map, but none of its most populous counties had high new-case rates.
Kentucky’s high-rate counties were also rural. Those with new-case rates more than double the statewide rate of 14.54 were Leslie, 40.5; Crittenden, 37.3; Simpson, 31.5; Rowan, 31; Bath, 30.9; Johnson, 29.6; and Lyon, 29.6.
In recent weeks, the state has reported more new cases of influenza than coronavirus cases. Kentucky’s weekly flu report for the week ended Dec. 17 had not been posted by 7 p.m. Tuesday, but the page
said it would be coming soon.
Among the new coronavirus cases, only 10.6% were in Kentuckians 18 or younger. The state attributed 45 more deaths to Covid-19, bringing Kentucky’s pandemic toll to 17,670.
Kentucky hospitals reported 405 patients with Covid-19 Monday morning, up from 370 a week earlier, with 49 in intensive care (up 7) and 16 on mechanical ventilation (down 4).
The current surge of the coronavirus in China increases the risk of a mutation that could overcome current vaccines, report Aniruddha Ghosal and Laura Ungar of The Associated Press: “Every new infection offers a chance for the coronavirus to mutate, and the virus is spreading rapidly in China. The country of 1.4 billion has largely abandoned its ‘zero Covid’ policy. Though overall reported vaccination rates are high, booster levels are lower, especially among older people. Domestic vaccines have proven less effective against serious infection than Western-made messenger RNA versions. Many were given more than a year ago, meaning immunity has waned.”