Most Ky. measures of pandemic ease slightly, but 32 more deaths keep that trend at a high; prison in Morgan County beset by virus

State Corrections Department chart, with shading applied by Kentucky Health News. Chart is updated on weekdays at

By Al Cross

Kentucky Health News
Kentucky recorded 3,096 new cases of the novel coronavirus Saturday, lowering the seven-day average for the fourth straight day, to 3,438. The percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the past week declined again from a record high, for the fifth day out of six, to 11.74%.

But at the same time, the state reported 32 more deaths from Covid-19, pushing its mortality trends to new highs. The seven-day average is 31 deaths per day, and the 14-day average is 28.2, both records.
Morgan County, site of a major virus outbreak at a state prison, continued to have the state’s highest infection rate, measured as the average number of cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days. Counties averaging more than 100 per 100,000 (1 per 1,000) are Morgan, 596; Clinton, 200; Oldham, 173; Wayne, 131; Hancock, 111; Harrison, 107; Taylor, 106; and Butler, 104. The statewide rate is 72.6.
Yesterday’s updated Corrections Department report shows that almost half the inmates at the Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex in West Liberty have active cases of the virus: 929 out of a listed population of 1,938. Eighty employees of the prison also have active cases.
Kentucky hospitals reported fewer Covid-19 patients, 1,631, but more in intensive-care units and on ventilators: 408 and 214, respectively. Friday’s respective numbers were 1,644, 392 and 203.
Hospitals continued to send warning signs. In Northern Kentucky, 83% of hospital beds were full, and in three other hospital regions, more than 80% of the ICU beds were occupied: 83% in the Barren River region and 89% in the Lake Cumberland area and easternmost region, from Lee to Pike counties.
Of the 32 Covid-19 deaths added to the state’s list, 29 were confirmed and three were probable. The death toll is 3,093, of which 2,858 have been confirmed and 235 are listed as probably caused by Covid-19, according to the state’s daily report.
Following recent weekend practice, Gov. Andy Beshear only announced numbers on his Facebook page and did not list the dead by county, age and sex.
In other coronavirus news Saturday:
  • Counties with more than 10 new cases were: Jefferson, 552; Fayette, 206; Kenton, 118; Warren, 117; Daviess, 85; Boone, 83; Hardin, 74; Morgan, 66; Campbell, 59; Laurel, 59; Henderson, 54; Oldham, 53; Pike, 53; Pulaski, 50; Jessamine, 49; Clark, 46; Boyd, 44; Madison, 39; Bullitt, 38; Scott, 37; Nelson, 36; Barren, 33; Shelby, 33; Christian, 32; Graves, 31; Greenup, Knox and Wayne, 30; Harlan, 28; Floyd and Taylor, 27; Franklin, 26; Bell, Hopkins, Marshall and Montgomery, 21; Grant, Logan and Rowan, 20; Anderson, Calloway, Meade and Whitley, 19; Bourbon, 18; Simpson, 17; Clinton and Grayson, 16; Carter, McCreary, Mercer and Ohio, 14; Allen, McCracken, Union and Woodford, 13; Boyle, Caldwell, Marion and Spencer, 12; and Henry, Johnson, Lincoln, McLean, Trigg and Washington, 11.
  • U.S. Sen. Rand Paul “contradicted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and told people during a Fox News interview on Friday to discard their masks once they have been vaccinated against Covid-19 or have been infected with the coronavirus,” reports Sarah Elbeshbishi of USA Today. “The CDC says ‘not enough information is currently available‘ to lift its recommendations that people wear masks and practice social distancing after getting the vaccine.”
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