A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

COVID deaths drop significantly in Kentucky but new cases, positivity all increase

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

COVID-19 related deaths in Kentucky dropped significantly last week, according to figures released by the Department for Public Health. But new cases, hospitalizations and the state’s positivity rate all rose, as did the number of “yellow” counties.

A total of 6,443 new cases were reported to state public health officials last week, bringing the pandemic total to 1,339,520, since the first positive case in March 2020.  This compares to 3,394 on the May 2 report, and 3,957 on May 9.

Eight counties reported 100 new cases or more last week.  Jefferson had 2,460, Fayette 651, Hardin 276, Kenton 159, Campbell 140, Oldham 115, Madison 104, and Boone 102.

The best news was the drop in COVID-related deaths.  There were 96 this past week, while May 9 saw 167, and 156 on the May 2 report.
The current hospital census indicates 340 people hospitalized due to COVID.  Of them, 30 are in the ICU and 9 on a ventilator.  That is 101 more hospitalizations than the previous week, and eight more patients in the ICU, but a drop of three of those who were on a ventilator.

Kentucky’s positivity rate also rose during the past week, and now stands at 9.35%.  On May 9 the rate was 7.19%, and the prior week was 5.67%.

There are now 12 counties in the “yellow” on the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Community Levels map.  Last week there were three yellow counties, and two weeks previously all 120 counties were in the green.

The CDC guidance for yellow counties includes urging residents to consider universal mask use in indoor public settings and to follow isolation and quarantine guidance, including getting tested if exposed to someone with COVID, or if you have symptoms.

For the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic in Kentucky and more guidance, go to the Department for Public Health’s website, at http://kycovid19.ky.gov/.

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