52 more in Ky. die from Covid-19, but daily new-case average drops below 2,000; Estill Co. schools warn parents about threats

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

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health NewsKentucky reported 52 more Covid-19 deaths on Thursday, a lagging effect of weeks of high coronavirus case numbers now in decline.

The expectation is that as that trend continues, along with a declining positive-test rate, deaths will come down too, but between the highly contagious Delta variant, low vaccination rates in much of Kentucky and case numbers that are still too high, that has been slow to happen.

One of the 52 fatalities reported Thursday was 38 years old, according to a Facebook post by Gov. Andy Beshear. The death toll is now 9,262. Ddeaths are averaging about 35 per day, down from about 40 two weeks ago.

Kentucky reported 2,305 new cases of the coronavirus Thursday, 26% of them in people 18 and younger. That cut the seven-day rolling average by 75, to 1,963, the first time since Aug. 7 it has been under 2,000.

The percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the last seven days also dropped again, to 7.91%, from 8% Wednesday.

Kentucky hospitals reported 1,354 Covid-19 patients, 11 fewer than Wednesday; 399 in intensive care, up 1; and 270 on mechanical ventilation, down 5.

Eight of the state’s 10 hospital readiness regions are using at least 80% of their intensive-care beds, with Northern Kentucky at 100% and the Lake Cumberland region at 96.6%.

Kentucky’s seven-day infection rate ranks ninth among the states, according to an analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data by The New York Times. 

The state reports its infection rate to be 36.73 daily new cases per 100,000 residents. Only two counties had rates more than double that rate: Russell, 84.5; and Powell, 76.3.

Only one of the state’s counties is in the yellow zone, for counties with moderate transmission rates, between 1 and 10 daily cases per 100,000 residents: Morgan, with 7.5. The orange zone, with “substantial” transmission rates (10 to 25 daily cases per 100,000 residents), has 21 counties. The rest are in the red zone, with high levels of transmission (more than 25 or more daily cases per 100,000).

Covid-19 vaccinations, masking, social distancing, and staying home if you are sick continues to be the best way to thwart this virus, and most Kentucky schools are working to implement these policies.

But not everyone is happy about it. Valarie Honeycutt Spears of the Lexington Herald-Leader reports that one school district has warned parents to stop threatening and abusing staff over their coronavirus policies.

The Estill County Board of Education issued a “civility statement” Thursday with a severe warning about such incidents, the Herald-Leader reports.

“In recent weeks, we have seen an increase of incidents where parents have been abusive to school employees and have made comments of a threatening nature,” the statement said. “This is a direct violation of state law.”

Vaccinations: The state’s daily report shows 2.75 million Kentuckians have received at least one dose of a vaccine, which amounts to 62% of the total population and 75% of those 18 and older.

Woodford County leads the state in share of residents with at least one dose of a vaccine, at 80%. It is followed by Franklin, 79%; Fayette, 76%; Campbell, 76%; and Boone, 73%.

Seventeen of the state’s 120 counties have less than 40% of their residents vaccinated with at least one dose, with Spencer (33%); Christian (34%); Elliott (35%); Jackson (35%) and Hart(36%) at the bottom of the list, according to the CDC.

An advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration unanimously recommended a booster dose of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine for people 65 and older, adults with high risk of severe illness, and those who could be exposed at work, CNN reports.

The recommendations mirror the eligibility criteria for the Pfizer-BioNTech booster authorized in September. Third doses of the Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines are already authorized for some immuno-compromised people.

The advisory panel will continue to meet Friday and are expected to vote on boosters for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and will hear a presentation on mix-and-match vaccines, CNN reports.

Previous Article
Next Article