Weekly case numbers increase by 20% after decreasing for seven weeks; Beshear calls it a plateau, says the virus “isn’t done with us yet”

Ky. Department. for public health graphic, adapted from Ky. Health News; to enlarge, click on it.

By Melissa Patrick

Kentucky Health News

Kentucky coronavirus cases in the week ending November 14 saw their first weekly increase in seven weeks: to 9,506 cases, a 20% increase from the week before, when the state reported 7,919 cases.

But when asked what should be a warning of more hikes to come, Gov. Andy Beshear wasn’t ready to say this, calling the numbers a plateau and why Kentuckians were getting vaccinated, in light of the cases and deaths during the peak of the Delta variant wave last December and January.

“Maybe it’s not a warning, but a pretty clear statement that this isn’t over with us yet,” Beshear said. “I don’t think that means we’re ready for another hike … At the very least, the fact that we’re no longer declining and what happened last holiday season should make people rush to get vaccinated before the holidays this season. . You can protect yourself. You can protect your family. ”

The governor said the number of cases in Kentucky is “at a very serious level” and it is important to do what experts know to reduce community prevalence, such as universal masking in schools, masking in other indoor locations; social distancing and vaccination against Covid-19.

Beshear encouraged all eligible to receive an initial or second dose or booster vaccination before Thanksgiving; get tested for the virus before attending a holiday event; and wearing masks at large indoor gatherings, especially if you have not been vaccinated or fully vaccinated.

“When we look at the Delta variant, and we look at where the hospitals were and overrun and how many people died, we’ve been through hell,” he said. “And thank God, we got out of it. We got out, most of us got out the other side. But now we know we’re getting close to the time when the Delta variant hit us so hard. And folks, we’re getting in. at a time when we would really like to be together and be close within us, and this is Thanksgiving and Christmas. ”

Beshear strongly urged Kentuckians to vaccinate children aged 5 to 11, noting that between 25% and 30% of all new cases are children (27% Monday) and that children aged 5 and 11 years have the second highest infection rate.

“Compared to the rest of the population, if you have a child between the ages of 5 and 11, he is much more likely to contract Covid than at any time before during the pandemic,” he said.

Beshear said it should be possible for anyone to get a booster dose and is considering the legal effect of executive orders in other states that allow it, going beyond federal guidelines.

So far, 2.6 million Kentuckians have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, or 58% of the total population. Beshear said 425,401 Kentucky residents received a booster injection and that in the first week of availability, 15,163 Kentucky children aged 5 to 11 received their first vaccination.

Daily numbers: Since Saturday, Kentucky has reported 3,034 new coronavirus cases, 726 of them on Monday. This brought the seven-day average to 1,950, a level not seen since mid-October.

The share of Kentuckians who tested positive for the virus in the past seven days is 5.73%. This rate has risen for three straight weeks after falling for seven consecutive weeks. Beshear said it has stabilized at around 5.5%, and the state may turn to a different gauge to measure the virus as more people are tested when the spread is high.

The seven-day infection rate is 02/27 cases per day per 100,000 residents, up from 24.85 cases on Friday. Counties with rates more than double Monday’s rate are Powell, 82.1; Breckinridge, 79.5; Magoffin, 75.2; Monroe, 64.4; Harrison, 61.3; and Bourbon, 59.9. The New York Times Kentucky ranks 26 for its infection rate and says it has increased 2% in the past 14 days.

Sixty-five of the state’s 120 counties are in red on the state infection map, for those with more than 25 cases per 100,000 residents per day. That’s the number of 51 counties in the red zone on Friday.

Beshear said Kentucky hospital numbers are also stabilizing and remain too high. Hospitals reported 719 Covid-19 patients, 16 more than on Friday; 191 in intensive care (up 2) and 105 in mechanical ventilation (up 3).

Seven of the state hospital regions use at least 80 percent of their ICU beds, with four over 90 percent.

Beshear said 36 of the state’s 96 acute care hospitals are reporting critical staff shortages, the lowest number in months.

The state has reported another 76 deaths from Covid-19 since Saturday, 10 of them on Monday. Three were people in their forties. The state’s pandemic death toll is now 10,280.

Beshear reminded the Kentuckians that the pandemic is not over and said “we can’t go numb”. He added that it will continue to require a collective effort to overcome the pandemic, and that includes more people being vaccinated and empowered.


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