Wednesday, August 11, 2021

With almost 3,000 new coronavirus cases, Kentucky's rate of new cases is among the highest in the nation; deaths are up too

State Dept. for Public Health map, relabeled by Ky. Health News; for a larger version, click on it.
This story has been corrected.
By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News

Kentucky reported almost 3,000 new cases of the coronavirus Wednesday, the most since soon after the height of the pandemic, and hospitalizations and deaths also continued to increase.

The 2,961 new cases raised the seven-day average to 2,208, the highest since Feb. 5 and more than double that of two weeks ago. Kentucky's new-case rate increase is 10th among the states, according to The New York Times.

"We never thought we'd be here again," Gov. Andy Beshear said in a Facebook video.

Kentucky hospitals reported 1,327 Covid-19 patients, 363 of them in intensive care and 169 of those on mechanical ventilation. All those numbers were about double those of two weeks ago.

The state reported 14 more deaths from Covid-19, the highest since June 10, raising the pandemic's Kentucky toll to 7,408. In the last week, the state has averaged 6.6 deaths per day; just 12 days ago, the average was 3.1.

"We're having another alarming day," Beshear said, mentioning the deaths of two women, ages 31 and 44, in Jefferson and Fayette counties, respectively. He also referred to the controversial mandate he issued Tuesday, for everyone in schools to wear masks. He posted a separate video on that.

"This virus is not foolin' around," he said. "We can't sit around and have a two-week debate. We have to act. It is attaching us, and we have to push back. . . . It's time to push the silliness aside; the facts are the facts, the truth is the truth; we are in a battle of life and death. We all need to do the right thing. . . . Wear that mask indoors when you're outside the home, and get vaccinated."

After two weeks of gradual increase, Kentucky vaccinations are lagging again. Over the last seven days, the daily average is 9,673, about one-fifth less than the 11,957 seven-day average on Saturday, Aug. 7, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data published in The Washington Post.    

The new-case rate over the last seven days is 46.85 per 100,000 residents; counties with rates more than double that rate were Clay, 128.5; Laurel, 102.9; Webster, 101.6; Union, 101.3; and Logan, 94.9. All but 14 counties have rates above 25 per 100,000, which puts them in red on the state's new-case map.

The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus rose to 11.22 percent, which Beshear noted is one of the highest recorded. The only higher shares were at the height of the pandemic, Jan. 5-20, with a high of 12.45%. The figure has risen steadily over the last two weeks; if it continues at that rate, it would exceed the previous record in about eight days.

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