A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Latest COVID report shows mixed bag: decrease in deaths but increases in new cases, positivity rate

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

The latest weekly COVID-19 report issued by the Kentucky Department for Public Health on Monday had a mixed bag of results, with a decrease in deaths, but increases in new cases and the positivity rate.

In the Oct. 31 report, 5,242 new cases were reported over the past seven days, up from the 5,044 new cases a week ago. 

The number of new cases among those 18 and younger nearly doubled, rising from 655 to 1,307. 

The total number of confirmed cases in Kentucky is now 1,614,528, since the first one was reported in March 2020.

Five counties reported over 100 new cases in the October 31 report, compared to four counties in each of the previous two weeks. Those counties were Jefferson with 924, Fayette 236, Boone 119, Kenton 112, and Warren 109.

The number of positive cases is likely undercounted, it should be pointed out, as many people who test positive after taking a home test do not report it to state public health officials, if they do not require medical treatment or were asymptomatic.

An ongoing decline in new deaths continued in the latest report, with 61. It was 70 in the October 24 report, which was ten less than the previous week, and 11 fewer than the week before. It was also 61 four weeks ago. There have now been 17,322 deaths in Kentucky since the start of the pandemic.

A total of 265 Kentuckians are currently hospitalized, three more than last week, and the third week in a row with a rise in the hospital census. Of those hospitalized, 40 are in intensive care with 11 on a ventilator. Last week, it was 41 in the ICU and 16 on a ventilator.

Kentucky’s positivity rate, which measures the number of cases from all tests performed except those from home testing kits, stood at 9.17%, an increase over last week, when it was 7.64%. That number has been fluctuating the past few weeks, as two weeks ago it was reported at 8.50%, and the week before 7.91%.

On the Oct. 28 Community levels map issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 107 counties were green, indicating a low community level, with the other 13 yellow, showing a medium level. No counties were in the red, which would mean a high community level.

For more details on Kentucky’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, community levels and more, go to the state’s website, http://kycovid19.ky.gov/.

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