As nation, state see COVID surge, so does Clark County

The U.S. is seeing a surge in coronavirus cases unlike anything since the pandemic hit, and Kentucky and Clark County are no exception. 

Last week, the nation, state and county saw record-breaking single-week cases of the potentially deadly virus, which arrived in the U.S. early this year. 


Clark County numbers on the rise 

In the last seven days, Clark County has reported 63 new cases. Of those, 22 were reported on Friday, Oct. 23, and 14 were reported on Thursday, Oct. 22. 

As of Monday’s report, there had been 589 total cases in the county, including 14 reported between Saturday and Monday.

Of those cases, 78 were active and 33 have required hospitalization at some point. Hospitalization data is updated monthly.

Additionally, one new death attributed to the virus was reported locally last week and another was reported Monday, bringing the county’s total to 12. 

The week ending Oct. 18 marked the most cases reported in a single week, with 61 new cases. 

The previous highest was the first week of August, when there were 39 new cases reported. 

October is on track to be the highest reporting month for the county. Already, 127 new cases have been reported this month. 

The highest reporting month so far has been August, when there were 137 cases reported. 

According to data released Friday by the Clark County Health Department, the following numbers of cases have been reported among various age groups: 

— 18 and younger: 63

— 19 to 29: 96 

— 30 to 39: 72

— 40 to 49: 77

— 50 to 59: 83

— 60 to 69: 87

— 70 to 79: 54

— 80 and older: 43. 


State continues to see ‘frightening’ surge

On Sunday, Gov. Andy Beshear said Kentucky also set a new record for the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in a week since the pandemic began, with 9,335 positive cases reported last week. 

The previous highest week of COVID-19 cases was Oct. 5-11, when the commonwealth reported 7,675 new cases. Sunday also marked the highest number of new cases ever reported on a Sunday, with 1,462 cases.

That report followed a “frightening” report of new cases Saturday, when Beshear announced a record-breaking number of new cases reported in a single day: 1,738. 

In a press release issued last week, Beshear said the White House Coronavirus Task Force is recommending that those in red or orange risk-level counties limit gatherings to immediate family only. 

Clark is listed as in the orange, with an incidence rate of 19.3 per 100,000. The seven-day incidence rate is calculated by taking the total number of unique cases in each county over the past seven days, divided by seven to get a daily average, divided by the U.S. Census Bureau county population, and multiplied by 100,000 to get the incidence per 100,000 people. 

Counties in the orange are categorized as having accelerated spread, or an incident rate greater than 10 but less than 25. 

All neighboring counties are in the orange as well, except for Montgomery, which was listed in the red. 

The governor noted Kentucky already has guidance limiting gatherings to 10 or fewer people, such as at backyard barbecues and house parties. But the recommendation from the White House this week goes even further.

“There is so much spread at family gatherings, events at the house, as well as weddings and funerals,” Beshear said. “At the very least, we need people to be a lot more cognizant of the dangers of these gatherings, especially when people aren’t wearing masks the whole time.”

Beshear said one wedding resulted in 44 cases, one funeral caused seven cases and one coffee gathering resulted in eight cases and two deaths. 

As of Tuesday morning, there had been 97,866 cases reported in the state, and 1,410 deaths. 

The majority of cases remain among the 20 to 29 age range, with more than 18,000 of the total cases occurring among that group. 

The majority of deaths have been among the 80 and older group, with 697 deaths reported of the 4,835 total cases in that group. 

Jefferson and Fayette counties continue to account for a majority of the cases in the state at 22.19 percent and 10.71 percent respectively. Those counties also account for more than 30 percent of the state’s deaths attributed to the virus. 

There have been nearly 2 million COVID tests administered in the state with a 5.84 percent positivity rate.

At least 17,881 people have recovered.

Beshear continues to ask Kentuckians to take the necessary precautions to stop the spread of the virus, including limiting gatherings, mask wearing, hand washing, surface sanitizing and social distancing. 

“The difference between where we are now and where we were in March is that now we know how to stop the spread,” Beshear said last week. “It’s like being in the challenge of your lifetime, it’s like being in a war — except you know 100 percent how to win. The question is, are you going to execute the plan to win?”


U.S. has record-breaking week 

In the U.S., the seven-day average of new cases was the highest it has ever been as of Sunday, with an average of 68,767 new cases reported each day of the previous week. The most recent high seven-day average was 67,293 as of July 22. 

Friday, Oct. 23, and Saturday, Oct. 24, were the two highest single days of new cases. There were more than 83,000 new cases reported nationally each of those days. 

There have been more than 8.6 million positive cases of COVID-19 reported in the U.S. as of Monday, and more than 225,000 people have died because of complications from the respiratory virus. 

About Whitney Leggett

Whitney Leggett is managing editor of The Winchester Sun and Winchester Living magazine. To contact her, email or call 859-759-0049.

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