State reports 13,600 new COVID cases, 31.37% positivity
Hospitalizations almost at 2,300 statewide
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Another big day of new cases, anther record positivity rate and rising hospitalizations. That’s a summary of the state’s Thursday COVID report.
In the state’s daily update (click here), Gov. Andy Beshear announced 13,614 newly reported cases of COVID-19, 20 deaths and a record positivity rate of 31.37%. The positivity rate has risen from 30.25% Tuesday. Of the new cases, 3,608 are in people 18 and under.
The new cases raised the state’s total since March 6, 2020 to 1,040,420. The 20 deaths mean the state has lost 12,659 residents t CVID-related causes.
The numbers set the state on track for a third straight record week of new cases. The state reported 72,165 new COVID-19 cases the week ending Jan. 16, the highest week ever. This new record surpasses the second-highest week by nearly 20,000 cases (Jan. 3-9: 52,603 cases) and the third-highest week by nearly 40,000 cases (Aug. 30–Sept. 5: 30,680 cases).
The Governor also reported the state’s highest ever average weekly positivity rate, 29.33%, for the week ending Jan. 16. This is nearly 4 percentage points higher than the second highest week (Jan. 3-9: 25.84%); and 9 percentage points higher than the third highest week (Dec. 27–Jan. 2: 20.38%). The highest weekly positivity rate during the delta variant surge was 13.88% the week ending Sept. 12, 2021.
Other indicators also continue to climb. The number of people in the hospital jumped to 2,298 from 2,256 Wednesday and 2,200 Tuesday. In a bright spot, 434 are in ICU, down from 455 Wednesday and close to Tuesday’s 431. But 271 people are on ventilators, up from 252 Wednesday and 244 Tuesday.
“Hospitals are struggling, and some have declared crisis standards for staffing,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health. “More than 450 Kentucky National Guard women and men are currently supporting the COVID-19 response in health care facilities. Thank you to all of our health care professionals who keep showing up to help others even under these circumstances.”
He continued: “There could be some light ahead. If Kentucky follows the pattern of Rhode Island and New York. Both Rhode Island and New York are showing a rapid decline in new cases that appears to mirror the immediately prior vertical climb. If Kentucky follows this pattern, then we may see our own peak within the next one to two weeks. This would be a very welcome reprieve. Until then, I urge all Kentuckians to not go to an ER just to get a COVID test.”
Dr. Stack said the one monoclonal antibody treatment effective against the omicron variant, as well as the Pfizer antiviral medication, are not yet widely available, but vaccines and boosters are abundant and highly effective.