COVID-19 metrics increase across Kentucky

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, December 28, 2022

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Most of the metrics used in tracking the COVID-19 pandemic in Kentucky saw increases in the latest weekly report, which wasn’t issued until Tuesday due to the Christmas holiday weekend.

State public health officials say there were 8,920 new cases during the last seven days, an increase of 2,544 from last week’s 6,376. New cases among those 18 and younger was 945, exactly 100 more than the previous week.  The continuing rise in new cases is likely, health officials have said, because of Thanksgiving holiday get-togethers.

This brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Kentucky to 1,662,581 since the first one was reported in March 2020 in Harrison County.

Seven counties had more than 100 new cases, compared to eight counties last week. Those seven counties were Jefferson with 858 new cases, Fayette 278, Warren 203, Hardin 135, Kenton 127, Boone 108, and Madison had 104.

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The number of positive cases is likely undercounted since many people who have a positive result from a home test do not report it to state public health officials if they do not require medical treatment or were asymptomatic.

Kentucky’s positivity rate, based on the number of positive tests other than from unreported home kits, has risen for five straight weeks and currently stands at 12.23%, which is nearly two and a half points higher than last week’s  9.85%. Two weeks ago, it was 8.63%, and three weeks ago the positivity rate was 8.14%.

The hospital census saw increases in two categories. Total hospitalizations in Kentucky rose from 370 to 405, while intensive care unit usage went from 42 to 49. The one good sign was the number of people on a ventilator dropped from 20 to 16.

COVID-related deaths last week were 45, the same as a week ago. This raises the pandemic total of Kentuckians lost to 17,670.