Monday, July 18, 2022

Kentucky, like most of U.S., sees increases in Covid-19 cases (up 17% last week) and hospitalizations (up 21%); deaths go down

Ky. Dept. for Public Health map, adapted by Ky. Health News; for a larger version, click on it.
By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

This week's weekly pandemic report for Kentucky shows that Covid-19 hospitalizations increased 21 percent last week, continuing a trend of what Gov. Andy Beshear earlier called a "legitimate increase" in hospital cases that prompted him Thursday to urge Kentuckians to "be wary" of the coronavirus. 

The figures for the Monday-Sunday reporting period showed Kentucky hospitals with 587 Covid-19 patients on Sunday, up from 483 a week earlier. The number of Covid patients in intensive care rose by six, to 78 (a 17% increase), but the number on mechanical ventilation dropped to 18 from 28. 

The Monday-through-Sunday report showed 12,798 new cases, an average of 1,828 per day. That's 17% higher than the week before, when daily new cases averaged 1,564.

The state attributed 49 more deaths to Covid-19 last week, an average of 7 per day.  This follows a week where the state saw a big increase in Covid-19 deaths, when it reported 62 Covid-19 deaths, or 8.86 per day. The state's pandemic death toll is 16,293. 

The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus increased again, to 17.7%. That's up from 16.96% in the prior report. However, this number does not capture a large number of people who have done home tests or who are walking around with the virus but have no symptoms. National health experts estimate that only 10% to 40% of cases are being discovered. 

The statewide case-incidence rate rose to 37.75 cases per 100,000 population, the highest since Feb. 24 and up from 33.98 in the previous week. Wolfe County, at 75.8 cases per 100,000, ranks first, followed by Perry, 72.1; Leslie, 66.5; Floyd, 59.4; Powell, 57.8; Boyd, 56.6; Greenup, 54.1; Letcher, 53.7; Muhlenberg, 53.6; and Grayson, 53.

The New York Times ranks Kentucky's case-incidence rate eighth among the states, with a 45% increase in cases in the last 14 days. 

"Following a long period in which new reports of cases were relatively consistent, the number of cases announced in the U.S. each day is again on the rise," the Times reports. "The daily case average grew to more than 129,000 on Tuesday, and cases are rising in more than 40 states. Since cases have always been an undercount, it is likely that the true number of cases is far higher — particularly since test- positivity rates are also increasing sharply nationwide." Also, Covid-19 hospitalizations have risen 17% since July 1.

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