Chart by The Washington Post; for a larger version, click on it.
By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News
As booster shots of all coronavirus vaccines approved in the U.S. become generally available, the daily rate of vaccinations in Kentucky is declining. But the number of daily new cases of the virus in the state is also declining, at a slightly faster pace, and new vaccinations far outnumber new cases.
The state reported 1,626 new cases Friday, lowering the seven-day rolling average by 55, to 1,480. That is 24 percent less than the average for the previous seven-day period.
Vaccinations for the virus averaged 10,262 per day over the last seven days, a 22 percent decline from the previous seven days.
The ratio of vaccinations to new cases is 6.9 to 1, slightly lower than it was two weeks ago. At the start of September, just before the summer surge in new cases peaked in Kentucky, the ratio was 3.4 to 1.
Other measures of the pandemic in the state continued to decline Friday. The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the last seven days fell by more than a quarter of a percentage point, to 6.25%.
|Dept. for Public Health map, adapted by Ky. Health News; click to enlarge.
The state’s seven-day infection rate fell to 25.52 daily new cases per 100,000 residents, nearly taking the state as a whole out of the high-transmission zone, shown in red on the state’s map of new-case rates. Counties with rates more than double the state rate were Owsley, 87.4; Cumberland, 86.4; Powell, 62.4; Jackson, 62.2; and Floyd, 51.4.
The state’s infection rate as calculated by The New York Times
is 17th in the nation and has declined 38% in the last two weeks, the ninth steepest decrease among the states during that period.
Kentucky hospitals reported 1,012 Covid-19 patients Friday, 28% fewer than two weeks ago; 289 in intensive care, down 34%; and 187 on mechanical ventilation, down 40%.
Those declines have slightly reduced stress on hospitals’ intensive-care units, but numbers remain high. The state’s daily report
showed seven of the 10 regions with more than 80% of ICU beds in use. Northern Kentucky rose to 100%, with 34% of ICU beds filled by Covid-19 patients; Barren River was second at 96%. Overall, 87.5% of ICU beds and 70% of all beds are occupied.
The state reported 29 more Covid-19 deaths Friday, raising the pandemic’s toll to 9,559. Over the last seven days, the state has reported 38 deaths per day; in the last 14 days the average is 36.
In other pandemic news Friday:
- Children-sized doses of Pfizer‘s vaccine appear safe and nearly 91% effective at preventing symptomatic infections in 5- to 11-year-olds, according to study details released Friday as the federal officials consider opening vaccinations to that age group.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study saying “There is no increased risk for mortality among Covid-19 vaccine recipients” and “Vaccine recipients had lower rates of non–Covid-19 mortality than did unvaccinated persons.”
- The University of Kentucky reported that 89 percent of its community was either partially or fully vaccinated. The breakdown: students, 86%, staff, 92%; health care, 92%; and faculty, 97%.