Clark remains in COVID ‘orange zone’

With nearly four dozen new cases of the coronavirus reported over the last week, Clark County remains in the state Department for Public Health’s orange zone for communities with accelerated spread of the potentially deadly virus.

According to the most recent COVID-19 data available from the Clark County Health Department as of The Sun’s Monday afternoon press deadline, there had been 660 positive cases of the virus reported in the community since March.

Of those, 67 remained active as of Friday, and 581 had recovered.

There have been 12 deaths attributed to the virus locally. No new deaths were reported last week.

During the week of Nov. 1 to Nov. 6, there were 44 new cases of the virus reported.

With a seven-day incidence rate of 18.9, the county is classified as in the orange zone.

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.

Most neighboring counties are listed in the red zone for communities with critical spread, or an incidence rate of 25 or higher, including Bourbon (28.2), Montgomery (49.7), Powell (57.8), Madison (29.3) and Fayette (45). Estill County is an orange county, with a rate of 22.3.  

As of the Nov. 5 White House Coronavirus Task Force report, there were 80 Kentucky counties in the red zone. Those counties are asked to follow a number of mitigation efforts over the next week to reduce case numbers.

This is the second week Gov. Andy Beshear has asked businesses and individuals in red-zone counties to follow a nine recommendations that, among other things, call on employers to allow people to work from home and ask individuals to avoid gatherings of any size and stay home as much as possible. Other recommendations call on schools in red counties to have remote-only instruction next week and tell long-term care facilities to further restrict visitation. 

“We know what will work,” Beshear said. “We just need everybody, everybody willing to do it … I don’t think, at this moment, it’s an issue of more mandates. It’s an issue, that’s fair to say [of] encouragement and enforcement to get people to wear the darn masks.

“If you’re not wearing a mask, I really want you to wear a mask. And I’m not trying to tell you to do it because I want to invade your liberty. I’m doing it because I want you to survive this thing and not harm anybody else.” 

Statewide, there were record numbers of new cases reported last week.

On Sunday, Beshear reported that the last Monday-to-Sunday reporting window saw the highest COVID case total in a single week, with 12,421 new cases reported, beating the previous high of 11,774 by almost 500 cases.

“This virus is spreading in communities in every corner of the commonwealth, and everyone, from our businesses and schools to individuals, must do their part to stop the spread and save lives,” Beshear said. “Without each of us doing our part, the rampant spread will continue to take more Kentuckians.”

As of Monday afternoon, there had been 120,838 cases in Kentucky and 1,565 deaths.

The state’s positivity rate topped 7 percent last week as well.

There were an average of 1,774 new cases of the virus reported each day over the past seven days, according to the Kentucky Health News data.

“That is about double what it was four weeks ago and about triple what it was eight weeks ago,” Al Cross reported for Kentucky Health News.

The majority of cases have been among those 20 to 29, with more than 23,000 cases in that age range. The majority of deaths have involved those 80 and older, though, with 776 deaths reported in that age range.

Hospital numbers declined slightly. Kentucky hospitals had 1,102 COVID-19 patients, 279 of them in intensive care and 148 of those on ventilators.

As Kentucky sees a surge in the virus, so does the nation. On Saturday, there were a record number of cases reported in one day in the U.S.: 126,742.

There have been more than 10 million cases of the virus in the  U.S. leading to more than 238,000 deaths.

Worldwide, there have been 50.7 million cases and 1.26 million deaths.

About Whitney Leggett

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

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