80% of Kentucky’s counties now in COVID ‘red zone’ 

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Friday saw another large number of new COVID-19 cases in Kentucky, thanks largely to the delta variant. At the current pace, the pandemic total could reach 500,000 in a couple of days. 

There were 2,612 new cases reported to state public health officials, which brings the number of confirmed cases in the state to 495,132 since the first one was reported on March 6, 2020.

Nine Kentucky counties had 50 or more new cases on Friday.  Jefferson with 318, Fayette 143, Daviess 128, Hardin 73, Laurel 68, Warren 61, Clay 60, Hopkins 51, and Pulaski 50.  Only two counties, Hickman and Robertson, reported no new cases.

There are 98 Kentucky counties now in the “Red Zone,” meaning they have an incidence rate of more than 25 cases per 100,000 population.  Nineteen are in the orange zone, with 10-25 cases per 100,000 population, while the other three are yellow, with 1-10 cases per 100,000.

One month ago were no red zone counties.

The state’s positivity rate is also continuing to rise.  On July 6, that number was 2.65%.  On Friday, it had risen to 10.46%.

The number of hospitalized Kentuckians remains high.  On Friday there were 976 people in hospitals across the state.  Of them, 286 were in the ICU, while 121 were on a ventilator.  On July 6, there were a total of 198 people hospitalized, with 69 in the ICU and 34 on a ventilator.

There were also six new deaths reported on Friday, raising the number of Kentuckians lost to COVID-19 to 7,372.

During a Thursday press conference, Gov. Andy Beshear stopped short of saying whether he would reinstitute a mask mandate or capacity limits at businesses, such as restaurants and bars.  However, he said nothing is completely off the table if the spike continues. 

Beshear saluted 11 healthcare companies for implementing mandatory vaccination for their employees while exempting those who have a medical condition or object to vaccination on religious grounds.