Kentucky reports another case jump, but fatality rate remains low (for now)

Gov. Andy Beshear provides Tuesday update on COVID-19 in Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Gov. Andy Beshear and Health Commissioner Steven Stack, MD, reported 674 new cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky Tuesday, the second-largest daily case increase since the onset of the pandemic.

Tuesday’s report comes after Kentucky added 979 newly confirmed cases Sunday. On Monday, Stack noted seven of Kentucky’s highest case reports had occurred in the previous eight days.

Stack said on Tuesday the last several days’ case reports place Kentucky “solidly at the base of the escalation of the curve,” referencing an exponential growth curve he described Monday.

That curve could place Kentucky on the path of Texas, Arizona or Florida — or not, Stack and Beshear said, if Kentuckians wear masks, practice social distancing and comply with the statewide orders and advisories.

The state’s 7-day rolling positivity rate stands at 4.37 percent, according to Beshear.

“We can’t attribute our number of positives to more testing,” the governor said. “When we have more people test positive, it means there’s more of the virus out there.”

Three more COVID-19-related deaths were also reported in Kentucky Tuesday, bringing the state’s total to 674, of which 449 have occurred in long-term care facilities.

Beshear highlighted Kentucky’s COVID-19 clinical fatality rate of 3 percent (factually it is 2.8 percent) is among the best in the nation, but he added even at 3 percent Tuesday’s case report implies around 20 eventual deaths.

Death reporting can trail case onset by as many as 14 days, meaning Tuesday’s report of 3 new deaths derives in part from the July 7 case report. That case report contained 371 new cases.

You can find each of Kentucky’s daily case reports going back to May here.

The CDC places COVID-19′s clinical fatality rate at around 4.2 percent among 82 countries sampled in June, adding: “Lower estimates might be closest to the true value, but a broad range of 0.25 percent–3 percent probably should be considered.”

For comparison, the Spanish Flu’s clinical fatality rate was around 2.5 percent, and the seasonal flu has a clinical fatality rate around 0.1 percent.

Clinical fatality rate describes the number of deaths per confirmed cases. WHO and CDC health experts believe the infection fatality rate of COVID-19, or deaths per all cases, including asymptomatic and peri-symptomatic cases, to be somewhere below 1.08 percent.

Beshear took significant steps Monday to slow the spread of the virus in the commonwealth following an unprecedented Sunday case report. Those steps included a travel advisory and the reimposition of a ban on gatherings of 10 or more people in certain settings.

Two weeks ago, the governor imposed a mask mandate throughout Kentucky. He said the state could begin to see the fruits of that mandate beginning next week in the form of a plateau or possible decline in daily new cases.

Copyright 2020 WXIX. All rights reserved.