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The number of weekly cases increases 20% after falling for seven weeks; Beshear calls it plateau, says virus ‘isn’t done with us yet’

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Kentucky. Dept. for public health graphic, adapted by Ky. Health News; to enlarge, click on it.

By Melissa Patrick

Kentucky Health News

Kentucky’s coronavirus cases in the week ending Nov. 14 saw their first weekly increase in seven weeks – to 9,506 cases, a 20% increase from the previous week, when the state reported 7,919 cases.

But when asked about that, it should be a warning of further increases to come, the governor. Andy Beshear wasn’t quite ready to say it, scoring the plateau numbers and reason for Kentuckians to get vaccinated, in light of the cases and deaths during the peak of the Delta variant surge in December and January.

“Maybe not a warning, but a pretty clear statement that this is not over yet,” Beshear said. “I don’t think that means we’re prepared for another increase … At the very least, the fact that we are no longer on a decline and what happened last holiday season should make people run out of shots before the holidays. This season. You can protect yourself. You can protect your family. ”

The governor said that the number of cases in Kentucky is “at a very serious level” and it is important to do the things that experts know will reduce community spread, such as universal masking in schools, masking in other closed places; social distancing and Covid-19 vaccination.

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

“When we look at the Delta variant, and we look at where the hospitals were and where they were invaded and how many people have died, we’ve been through hell,” he said. “And thank God, we got out of there. We got out, most of us got out the other side. But now we know that we are getting closer to the moment when the Delta variant hit us so hard. And folks, we’re getting in in a moment where we would really like to be together and be close inside, and that’s Thanksgiving and Christmas. ”

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

“Compared to the rest of the population, if you have a 5- to 11-year-old child, you are significantly 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 shot, and he is evaluating 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 shot and that in the first week of availability, 15,163 Kentucky children ages 5 to 11 received their first shot.

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

The proportion of Kentuckians who tested positive for the virus in the past seven days is 5.73%. This rate has risen for three weeks in a row after falling for seven consecutive weeks. Beshear said it has stalled at around 5.5% and the state may switch to a different indicator to measure the virus as more people get tested when the spread is high.

The seven-day infection rate is 02/27 daily cases per 100,000 residents, compared to 24.85 cases on Friday. The 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 It ranks Kentucky 26th for its infection rate and says it has risen 2% in the past 14 days.

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

Beshear said the number of Kentucky hospitals is also stagnating and remains too high. Hospitals reported 719 patients with Covid-19, 16 more than on Friday; 191 in intensive care (up to 2) and 105 in mechanical ventilation (up to 3).

Seven of the state’s hospital regions use at least 80% of their intensive care beds, and four more than 90%.

Beshear said 36 of the state’s 96 intensive care hospitals are reporting critical staffing shortages, the fewest in months.

The state has reported 76 more deaths from Covid-19 since Saturday, 10 of them on Monday. Three were from people in their 40s. The state’s pandemic death toll is now 10,280.

Beshear reminded Kentuckians that the pandemic is not over, saying “we cannot become numb.” He added that a collective effort will continue to be necessary to get on the other side of the pandemic, and that includes vaccinating and reinforcing more people.

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