Database assesses county-level risk for COVID-19

Published 10:58 am Tuesday, July 7, 2020

How at risk is Clark County for the coronavirus?

A new interactive database compiled by researchers at Harvard University aims to answer that question.

The database, which was released Wednesday as a collaboration between researchers at the Harvard Global Health Institute and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, assigns one of four colors — green, yellow, orange or red — to every U.S. county based on the number of new daily cases per 100,000 people.

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Kentucky is one of 34 states categorized as yellow, with one to nine daily new cases per 100,000, indicating potential community spread. Researchers recommended the following interventions: continue testing, contact tracing and isolation as well as social distancing, masking and other measures.

Two states — Florida and Arizona — are categorized as red with more than 25 new cases daily per 100,000 people, indicating unchecked community spread. Researchers indicate stay-at-home orders are necessary in these states.

There are 14 states categorized as orange, experiencing 10 to 24 new cases per 100,000 people daily, indicating escalating community spread. Researchers indicate stay-at-home orders may be necessary in these states, unless it’s possible to surge testing and tracing capabilities.

Only one state — Hawaii — is listed as green, which means it is experiencing less than on new case per 100,000 daily and is close to containment.

The complete database can be viewed at

According to the database, Kentucky is experiencing about 3.7 new cases per 100,000 people daily.

The state’s COVID-19 website indicates there have been more than 16,000 positive cases of the virus and 585 deaths associated with the virus.

The database also looks at county-level data, which indicates Clark is one of 22 counties in Kentucky listed as green. There are some discrepancies in the data, which lists Clark County as having 99 cases and five deaths. The most recent report from local Health Department officials indicates there have been at least 147 cases of the virus and six deaths locally.

In surrounding counties, Estill is also listed at green, while Powell, Bourbon, Fayette, Montgomery and Madison counties are each listed as yellow.

Three Kentucky counties — Clay, Jackson and Adair — are listed as orange.

There were no counties in Kentucky listed as red as of Monday afternoon.