Kentucky reports most COVID-19 deaths in months

Beshear provides Tuesday update on COVID-19 in Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Fifteen more Kentuckians with COVID-19 were reported dead Tuesday, according to the state’s daily case report, bringing the commonwealth’s total COVID-19-related deaths to 948.

Tuesday’s count of 15 deaths is the most Kentucky has reported since at least June 1, past which the state does not keep case reports on its website.

All case reports June 1-Sept. 1 can be found here.

In Monday’s press conference, Kentucky Health Commissioner Steven Stack, MD, responded to skepticism about how the state reports COVID-19 deaths. The question is asked at 2:25 in the video below:

Beshear, Stack respond to herd immunity claims, mortality reports skepticism

Kentucky’s deaths have largely remained in the single-digits throughout the pandemic, but a July case surge now seems to be resulting in an increase in deaths, if not an unexpected one.

Last week, Kentucky reported 38 COVID-19-related deaths in a three-day span.

That July case surge has since plateaued, as the state continues to report daily new cases within a stable range of 7-800. Still, Stack cautioned the threat of the virus remains significant in Kentucky:

“Cautionary news: Kentucky still hovers at a plateau of about 150 new cases per day per million people in the state. At that rate, there’s a lot of disease spread widely throughout Kentucky. If we were to have it take off in an unrestrained manner, there’s a much bigger impact than there would be if we were at a lower plateau.

“It’s absolutely imperative that you wear your mask, watch your space and wash your hands. And if you have symptoms or a high risk exposure, you should get tested.”

The state’s clinical mortality rate is slightly above 1 percent, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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 percent.

That could mean Kentucky is doing a good job of detecting most cases, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, present in its population. Indeed, its positivity rate, now at 4.4 percent, continues to inch down to the White House- and CDC-recommended rate of 4 percent.

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