|Washington Post graphic, adapted from Ky. Health News; Click to enlarge.|
by Al Cross
Kentucky Health News
Most pandemic measures in Kentucky fell Wednesday, and vaccinations are on the rise after a slight drop.
The state reported 1,702 new coronavirus cases, lowering the seven-day moving average by 28, to 1,320. It is the twentieth consecutive day that the seven-day average has decreased.
Reported vaccinations have risen to a seven-day average of 11,262, so the ratio of vaccinations to new cases is 8.5 to 1. At the end of last week, it was less than 7 to 1.
Despite the decline in cases in recent weeks, health officials fear that the onset of cold weather, by moving more activities indoors, will cause a greater spread of the virus and flu viruses, once again threatening the capacity of hospitals, where intensive care units stay close to capacity.
Kentucky hospitals reported 869 Covid-19 patients on Wednesday, 24 fewer than Tuesday, but the number in ICU increased by 10 to 276. Eight of the 10 hospital regions reported more than 80% of their beds. in ICU in use, with Northern Kentucky highest at 98.3%.
New cases per day in the past seven days averaged 23.58 per 100,000 residents, continuing a 12-day decline that took the state as a whole from the red “high transmission” category to the “substantial” orange level. But many hot spots remain, especially in southern Kentucky; counties with rates more than double those across the state are Russell, 82.1; Adair, 66.2; Jackson, 57.9; Clinton, 57.3; Letcher, 54.4; Green, 53.5; Cumberland, 51.8; and Owsley, Aug. 51.
The state has reported another 20 deaths from Covid-19, bringing the Kentucky pandemic to 9,685 deaths. The seven-day average of deaths dropped to just below 30; the 14-day average is 34.
A lawyer for the state Public protection cabinet is suing Gov. Andy Beshear in federal court after being punished repeatedly for refusing to wear a mask to work. Dana Simmons argues that the executive branch mask policy violates court rulings and lawmakers limits Beshear’s ability to issue emergency orders, especially masking warrants, the Lexington Herald Leader relationships. The cabinet said employees are required to follow its “personnel safety policies”.