Harlan County’s COVID seven-day positivity rate nearly double state mark

Published 11:13 am Wednesday, December 8, 2021

The pandemic continued to accelerate in Kentucky Monday, especially in hospitals but also in new cases.

Kentucky reported 2,728 new cases of the coronavirus Tuesday, raising the seven-day rolling average by 24, to 2,369.

The state’s hospitals reported 1,109 Covid-19 patients, 32 more than Monday, an increase of almost 3 percent.

The number of hospitalizations started growing faster just before Thanksgiving, going up about 3% a day; after the post-Thanksgiving lull, the increase has averaged 3.5% per day.

Intensive-care units have 305 of the patients, five fewer than Monday; 174 patients need mechanical ventilation to breathe, six more than Monday.

Seven of the state’s 10 hospital -readiness regions are using at least 80% of their intensive care unit beds, with four of them over 90%.

The highest is Barren River (Bowling Green-Glasgow), at 97.7%.

The state’s seven-day daily infection rate keeps going up. Tuesday, it was 48.24 cases per 100,000 residents, up from 47.96 on Monday.

Counties with rates more than double that rate are Powell, 134.1; Cumberland, 116.6; Robertson, 108.4; Lewis, 104.4; Lawrence, 99.8; Harlan, 98.3; Owen, 98.3; and
McLean, 97.8.

While Kentucky’s infection rate remains high, some other states are surpassing it. According to The New York Times, Kentucky’s infection rate ranks 20th among the states, four notches lower than it was Friday. But in the last 14 days, the state’s 56% increase in new cases is eighth among the states.

The state reported 59 more Covid-19 deaths Tuesday, raising Kentucky’s pandemic death toll to 11,348. Reporting of deaths is often delayed by the state’s confirmation process; in the last 14 days, the state has reported an average of 42 Covid-19 deaths per day; a month ago, the 14-day average was 27 per day.

The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the past seven days is 9.17%, slightly higher than Monday. Testing has increased, with more than 107,000 tests reported Tuesday.