Last week of the coronavirus in Ky. breaks old record, by far

Department for Public Health map, relabeled by Kentucky Health News; click on it to enlarge.

By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News

Kentucky added more new cases of the novel coronavirus in its latest official Monday-through-Sunday reporting week than any other since the beginning of the pandemic, Gov. Andy Beshear said.

The 1,423 cases reported Sunday made a weekly total of 11,774, based on unadjusted daily reports. The previous week’s unadjusted total was 9,433. The only bright spot: Last Sunday’s number was slightly higher, 1,462.

“If you’re not alarmed by these record numbers . . . you should be,” Beshear said in a press release. “I know we’re tired, but if we do not get the spread of this disease under control, we risk a darker, more deadly period this winter than we ever experienced in the spring.”
Hospitalizations for covid-19 in Kentucky again set a record, at 994, with 250 of them in intensive care, and 136 of those were on ventilators.

Health Commissioner Steven Stack said in the release that the statistics are “telling us what we’d hoped to avoid: Kentucky is in a critical situation. The spread of covid-19 is accelerating at a dangerous pace.”

The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the last seven days is 6.14 percent, about the same as the last three days. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,682.
Counties with more than 10 new cases were Jefferson, 301; Fayette, 163; Kenton, 60; Johnson, 50; McCracken, 47; Bell, 42; Warren, 38; Bullitt, 36; Hardin, 35; Barren, 33; Boone, 32; Nelson, 31; Christian, 29; Daviess, 27; Henderson, 26; Campbell, 23; Floyd, 21; Graves, 16; Madison, 15; Jessamine and Magoffin, 12 each; and Grayson, Marion, Scott and Webster, 11 each.
The state reported four more covid-19 deaths, raising its toll to 1,489: a 72-year-old Bullitt County man, a 64-year-old Jefferson County man, a 74-year-old Jessamine County man and a 64-year-old Madison County woman.

Beshear’s release said red counties on the state’s case-incidence map should follow nine recommendations to slow the spread of the virus, and all counties should consider adopting some of those measures to help them avoid the red zone, the category for counties averaging 25 new daily cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days.In another danger sign, Stack noted that several adjoining counties in Eastern Kentucky entered the red zone last week at the same time they reported cases of influenza. With the arrival of cold weather, the heart of flu season has begun, and many symptoms of the flu and covid-19 are the same.

“Having multiple viruses actively circulating at the same time makes the situation even more difficult, but we have effective defenses that work for these and other viruses,” said Stack, who is a physician.

“Avoid gatherings,” he advised. “If you’re around people, remain at least six feet apart from those not in your household. Wear a face mask. Wash your hands thoroughly. Avoid touching your eyes and mouth. And clean surfaces with sanitizing wipes or a chlorine bleach solution. It’s a highly effective killer of germs of all sorts.”

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