State Dept. for Public Health map, adapted by Kentucky Health News; to enlarge, click on it.
By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News
If there was any doubt that the coronavirus is surging in Kentucky, it was dispelled by Tuesday’s daily report from the state Department for Public Health.
The state reported 1,054 new cases of the virus, the most since March 11. That raised the seven-day rolling average to 554, an 18 percent jump from Monday’s figure of 470.
Kentucky’s seven-day infection rate likewise jumped, to 11.5 per 100,000 residents, moving it into the “accelerated” category indicated by orange on the health department’s county-level map. Nine counties were in red, reflecting seven-day infection rates above 25 per 100,000: Webster, Hopkins, Muhlenberg, Hart, Washington, Whitley, Laurel, Clay and Lewis.
Hospitalizations continued to increase. Kentucky hospitals reported 347 Covid-19 patients, 112 of them in intensive care and 44 of those on a ventilator. The intensive-care census has not been that high since May 18.
The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the last seven days rose for the 25th day in a row, to 5.71 percent.
The state reported three more deaths, raising Kentucky’s pandemic toll to 7,304.
The surge is being driven by the much more contagious Delta variant of the virus and a low rate of vaccination in many places. The variant is having more effect on younger people; 217 of Tuesday’s new cases, or 20.6%, were in people 18 and younger.
On Monday Gov. And Beshear and Health Commissioner Steven Stack recommended that:
- All unvaccinated Kentuckians should wear masks indoors when not at home;
- Kentuckians at higher risk from Covid-19 due to pre-existing conditions should wear masks indoors when not at home;
- Vaccinated Kentuckians in jobs with significant public exposure, such as retail and hospitality, should consider masking at work; and
- All unvaccinated Kentuckians, when eligible, should be vaccinated immediately.