State Dept. for Public Health map, adapted by Ky. Health News; for a larger version, click on it.
By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News
Several measures of the pandemic in Kentucky increased Friday, as the state moved into its second Easter weekend with the novel coronavirus.
The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus rose for the sixth straight day, to 3.08%, 0.2 percentage points above Sunday’s 2.88%.
The state’s 7-day rolling average of new virus cases has risen on five of the last six days. Friday it stood at 641, after the state reported 690 new cases.
However, the state rate of new cases fell slightly, to 10.9 per 100,000 residents. Counties with rates more than double the statewide rate were Powell, 50.9; Simpson, 43.8; Harlan, 40.1; McCreary, 34l Whitley, 32.7; Knox, 26.6; Lee, 25.1; Allen, 22.8; Owsley, 22.7; Lyon, 22.6; and Menifee, 22.
Kentucky’s new-case rate was 31st in the nation, up from 34th on Thursday, according to The New York Times data tracker.
The number of Covid-19 patients in Kentucky hospitals and intensive-care units fell slightly, but the share of ICU patients on ventilators zoomed to 74%, the highest since Kentucky Health News began tracking it in October. Daily hospital reports have had occasional spikes that turned out to be temporary.
The Lake Cumberland hospital region was the only one with more than 80% of its ICU beds in use, at 84%. Only 16% of the region’s ICU beds were occupied by Covid-19 patients; that was by far the state’s highest rate.
The state added 21 more deaths to its list of Covid-19 fatalities, all but three of them from its ongoing audit of death certificates. The 14-day average of regularly reported deaths continues to fall; it is now 15.6 per day, 38 percent lower than it was a month ago.
Because it was Good Friday, the state did not issue a list of deaths itemized by age, sex, county and date. Its daily report is here.
In other pandemic news Friday:
- Counties with 10 or more new cases were: Jefferson, 106; Simpson, 31; Fayette, 28; Letcher, 20; Warren, 19; Kenton, 17; Knox, 17; Daviess, 15; Boone, 13; Hardin, 13; Bell, 12; Barren, Bullitt and Pike, 11; and Christian, Laurel, McCracken, Oldham and Whitley, 10.
- The number of active cases in Kentucky prisons fell again, to only 20 (six staff and 14 inmates), according to the Corrections Department‘s latest report, dated April 1.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance saying travel poses little risk to fully vaccinated people, but is still not recommended, due to rising numbers of cases. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said “I would advocate against general travel, overall. Our guidance is silent on recommending or not recommending fully vaccinated people travel. Our guidance speaks to the safety of doing so.”
- Coronavirus-related deaths in nursing homes have dropped by 91% since late December, when they got priority for vaccination, according to a report from the main lobby for the homes.
- Some Kentucky landlords are refusing to apply for the millions of dollars available to help their tenants pay rent, reports Graham Ambrose of the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.
- Fauci, a 3-year-old colt named for President Biden’s chief medical adviser, was the favorite but ran second in the $100,000 Palisades Turf Sprint on opening day at Keeneland Race Course. The winner was stablemate Chasing Artie, a gelding. Fauci has placed second in four of his five races and won another 5½-furlong turf race at Keeneland last July. The opening-day crowd in Lexington liked him; his morning line odds were 2-1, but he was bet down to 8-5.