Record number of cases in one day and one week; 7-day rolling average of new cases is over 4 times what it was 3 months ago

Kentucky Health News graph, based on initial, unadjusted reports of daily cases

By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News

Kentucky has never had more new cases of the novel coronavirus in one day than state officials reported Saturday: 1,275. And it has never had more cases in one week: 6,158.

Those numbers will be adjusted a bit downward, to eliminate duplicate test results, but the daily number will still be well above the previous record of 1,163, which was set Aug. 12 and was an outlier in the trend at the time.

The latest numbers continue a trend of escalation that began almost four weeks ago, shortly after the Labor Day weekend, and make the seven-day rolling average of new cases 880, more than four times what it was three months ago.

“I need your help,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in a news release. “We are seeing the coronavirus surging around the country. We are in another escalation here in Kentucky. We have got to do what it takes to stop it, and that’s all of us. No more being casual; time to be urgent. We are Team Kentucky. We can beat this. We will get through it and we will get through it together.”

There was other worrying news. The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus over the last seven days rose to 4.74 percent, approaching the 5 percent danger threshold. The seven-day positive-test average has risen since Wednesday, when it was 4.07%.

Beshear’s initial quote in the release was, “I know it’s been a tough couple of days, seeing the president, the first lady, U.S. senators, Cam Newton and others test positive for covid-19. “But right here in the commonwealth, we now have 1,275 new cases announced today, meaning 1,275 Kentuckians have just tested positive. This is our highest number of cases ever . . . and it shows that we have to do better.”

The numbers brought the total number of cases in the state to 72,001, meaning that at least 1.6 percent of the population has been infected with the virus. Of the newly reported cases, 166 were in Kentuckians 18 and younger, with 27 of them 5 and under.

Fayette County led the new-case list, with 254. Other counties with 10 or more were Jefferson, 250; Henderson, 85; Whitley, 42; Daviess, 36; Christian, 33; Laurel, 31; Warren, 27; Kenton, 27; Boone, 23; Oldham, 23; Madison, 18; Hardin, 16; Clark, 15; Harlan, 14; Union, 14; Hopkins, 12; Boyd, Estill, Franklin and Muhlenberg, 11 each; and Campbell, Clinton and Rockcastle, 10 each.

Beshear reported eight more deaths from covid-19, raising the state’s death toll to 1,205. The fatalities were a 66-year-old woman and an 89-year-old man from Christian County; a 75-year-old woman from Fayette County; two men, 80 and 89, from Jefferson County; two women, 76 and 86, from Lincoln County; and a 64-year-old woman from Mercer County.

In other covid-19 news Saturday:
  • Jefferson County, which has about 17% of Kentucky’s population, has accounted for 26% (313) of the state’s covid-19 deaths. Fayette County which has 7.2% of the population, has 6.4% of the cases, followed by Warren, 4.5%; Kenton, 4.1%; and Hopkins, 3.2%.
  • The state’s daily report said 600 people were hospitalized with covid-19 in Kentucky, 129 of them in intensive care.
  • President Trump’s vital signs in the past day were “very concerning” and the next 48 hours will be critical for his care, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told The Associated Press around midday. “Meadows’ assessment was more disquieting than the one offered Saturday by White House physician Sean Conley – who said the president was ‘doing very well’ – the latest in a series of mixed messages from officials about the president’s condition since Trump tested positive for the virus,” USA Today reports. “The course of covid-19 can be highly variable, but the next three to five days are likely to be crucial, physicians who have treated hundreds of coronavirus patients told USA Today.”
  • The Washington Post reports, “The White House on Saturday created a startling amount of confusion on the timing of President Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis and the status of his health through conflicting statements, injecting an extraordinary degree of uncertainty into the nation’s understanding of the president’s condition and who may have been exposed to the deadly virus.”
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