The number of people hospitalized for the COVID-19 disease in Kentucky has increased 400 percent in the last month, and has increased for 26 consecutive days. So has the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care, which has risen 387% in the last month.
Hospital numbers don't get as much attention as the numbers of new cases, but Gov. Andy Beshear has said that the number and seriousness of hospital cases will be more important as he considers possible emergency measures to thwart the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus.
The state reported 1,301 new cases Monday, raising the seven-day rolling average to 2,054. That's more than 800% higher than it was a month ago. The seven-day infection rate is 43.83 per 100,000 residents; counties with rates more than double that were Clay, 134.2; Webster, 99.3; Logan, 95.4; Hart, 90.8; and Laurel, 90.2.
The report pushed the state's total number of cases above 500,000.
COVID-19 hospitalizations and intensive-care cases continued to increase at higher rates than new virus cases. Kentucky hospitals reported 1,139 COVID-19 patients Monday, 331 of them in intensive care and 158 of those on ventilation.
Deaths are beginning to increase. The state reported seven more COVID-19 deaths Monday, raising the total to 7,387. Over the last seven days, there have been 5.6 deaths per day; 10 days ago, it was 3.1.
The only encouraging statistics over the weekend were vaccinations. The state reported 21,665 doses reported Aug. 7, the most since June 17. That raised the seven-day average to 11,957, the highest since June 23.
The state has moved up in The Washington Post's forecast of when states will get 70 percent of adults vaccinated. At the current rate, that is now projected to occur at the end of this month. In mid-July, that wasn't expected to happen until early December. If the current forecast holds, Kentucky would be the 25th state to reach 70%.
Kentucky ranks ahead of all its border states except Illinois in the percentage of population that has received at least one dose of vaccine. It ranks just behind Ohio and Illinois in the percentage that is fully vaccinated.
Cross-posted from Kentucky Health News. Kentucky Health News is an independent news service of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, based in the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Kentucky, with support from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.
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