Holiday brings Kentucky’s largest daily case increase of pandemic

Holiday brings Kentucky’s largest daily case increase of pandemic
Northern Kentucky's largest three counties report falling incident rates for the first time since early November. (Source: WIS)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Cases of COVID-19 continue to increase in Kentucky, but early data show the beginnings of a potential plateau in the current surge.

Kentucky reported 3,870 newly confirmed cases Thursday, the largest daily increase of the pandemic, according to Gov. Andy Beshear’s office.

The Kentucky Department of Public Health released Thursday’s and Friday’s COVID-19 reports together Friday evening.

The Thursday report also includes 32 new virus-related deaths, the second-highest daily increase of the pandemic in Kentucky.

Friday’s report includes 1,747 newly confirmed cases and 4 additional virus-related deaths.

COVID-19 incident rate by county in Kentucky
COVID-19 incident rate by county in Kentucky (Source: Kentucky Department of Public Health)

Kentucky’s positivity rate is 8.85 percent as of Friday.

Since Monday the state has added 13,850 newly confirmed cases.

Case reports typically slow during the weekend as some labs go offline or do not report to KDP. Still, even in the unlikely event cases increase Saturday and Sunday at the same rate they have Monday through Friday, the 19,390 total weekly cases would be fewer than last week’s total of 20,914.

It would mark the first natural decrease in weekly case totals since the week beginning Sept. 7. (An artificial decrease occurred the week beginning Oct. 12 due to a backlog of cases reported the previous week.)

Kentucky COVID-19 case totals by week.
Kentucky COVID-19 case totals by week. (Source: Kentucky Department of Public Health)

Incident rates have dropped for three consecutive days in Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties after rising each day through Nov. 23.

Incident rates represent daily new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents on average over the previous week.

Below are incident rates from Nov. 23 compared to rates from Nov. 27:

  • Boone County: 80.1 - 72.7
  • Kenton County: 64.2 - 59.2
  • Campbell County: 66.7 - 54.6

Evidence of a plateau in Kentucky and Northern Kentucky is early. Moreover any would-be plateau could be negated by the case increases public health officials are expecting due to Thanksgiving gatherings.

Beshear is asking families to avoid busy shopping areas over the weekend.

“These new case reports are truly alarming. Please be careful when you’re shopping and consider safer options, like purchasing gifts online for delivery or curbside pick-up,” he said.

“Wash your hands, stay six feet apart from other shoppers and wear a mask at all times. Now is the time we need everyone to buckle down, stay strong and stop this surge in cases.”

The full daily reports and incident rate maps can be found here.

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