44 of 120 counties are now out of the high-infection red zone, but Kentucky still ranks high in new cases and hospitalizations

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

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

As the Omicron variant’s surge in Kentucky wanes, more than a third of the state’s 120 counties have moved out of the state infection map’s red zone, for counties with high levels of coronavirus infection.

Fulton, Todd and Hickman counties are in yellow on the map, representing a “moderate” level of infection, 10 or fewer daily cases per 100,000 residents in the last seven days. Forty-one counties are in orange, for a “substantial” level, 10 to 25 cases per 100,000; the rest are in red.

Kentucky reported 2,202 new coronavirus cases Friday, bringing the seven-day average down to 2,346, 38% below what it was a week earlier. Nearly 25% of the day’s new cases are in people 18 and younger.

Kentucky’s seven-day infection rate is 35.05 daily cases per 100,000, less than half what it was 10 days ago. Counties with rates more than double the statewide rate are Perry, 185.8; Wolfe, 149.7; Leslie, 134.5; Menifee, 116.7; Robertson, 108.4; Knott, 99.4; Letcher, 97.4; Lee, 88.8; Wayne, 83.6; Lawrence, 83.0; Floyd, 80.7; Morgan, 80.5; Owsley, 77.7; Bath, 76.6; Breathitt,75.8; Montgomery, 72; Jackson, 71.8; Clay, 71.8; and Anderson, 71.

Kentucky has the fifth highest infection rate among states, according to to an analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data in The New York Times. West Virginia ranks sixth and Tennessee ranks eighth.

The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the last seven days continued its 33-day fall, dropping below 10% for the first time in more than two months. Friday’s figure was 9.85%.

While Kentucky’s infection rank has fallen, the state is No. 2 in hospital patients per 100,000, with Covid-19, trailing only West Virginia in the Times-CDC rankings. Tennessee is third and Missouri is fourth.

Kentucky hospitals reported 1,149 patients with Covid-19 Friday, about half as many as three weeks ago; 223 were in intensive care and 119 on mechanical ventilation, both down by almost half in three weeks.

The state attributed 38 more deaths to Covid-19 Friday, a relatively high number, but the seven-day and 14-day averages of reported deaths are dropping; today they are 27.7 and 32.8 respectively. Kentucky’s pandemic death toll is now 13,758.

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