Daily COVID cases drop below 1,000 in Kentucky

Published 4:41 pm Tuesday, October 12, 2021

For the first time during the month of October, the daily number of new cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky was significantly below 1,000 on Monday as the number of deaths continues to decline.

There were 722 new cases reported to state public health officials on Monday, with a total of 714,904 since the start of the pandemic. Last Monday, the number was 1,239.

Only Jefferson County had more than 100 cases. The remaining top five counties for new cases were Kenton with 35, Daviess, 30, Boone, 26 and Hardin, 24.  Going back to Oct. 1, Kentucky had six counties with more than 100 new cases.

Kentucky’s positivity rate, which is the number of new tests divided by positive results, dropped to 8.26%.  Earlier this month, the positivity rate was 9.67% and last Monday it was 9.31%.  All figures are based on a seven-day rolling average.

The daily hospital census also continues to see a decline.  Monday had 1,399 Kentuckians hospitalized, of which 418 were in the ICU and 266 on a ventilator.  One week ago, the numbers were 1,668, 496 and 332, respectively.

This is also a marked decrease since Oct. 1, when there were 1,900 people hospitalized, of which 553 were in the ICU and 357 on a ventilator.

Dr. Sean McTigue, medical director for pediatric infection prevention & control at Kentucky Children’s Hospital, said the hospital is still experiencing a surge of pediatric COVID-19 cases.

“Since July 30, we have had more than six times the number of admissions to Kentucky Children’s Hospital with rather severe or critical COVID-19 infections in children, than we had for the entirety of the pandemic, up to that point.  That has continued through the past week,” McTigue said at a press conference Monday morning.

He added while vaccinations for those 12 and older are best, monoclonal antibodies are available for those already with symptoms.

“We have not yet had a single patient who has been immunized, admitted to Kentucky Children’s Hospital for severe or critical COVID.  Immunization still appears to be the best tool in our toolbox to help fight this infection and to help kids healthy and out of the hospital.”

The FDA will be meeting at the end of October to decide whether to formally approve the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11, according to McTigue.

The physician also weighed in on the newly announced  Merck anti-viral pill, which was submitted to federal regulators Monday morning.

“While it has been shown to have some benefit to help keep people out of the hospital, the numbers have been more modest that they have for the antibody infusions. There are also some concerns about the safety of that pill, as it indices mutations in the virus itself, compared to monoclonal antibodies.”

A total of 23 new deaths were reported due to COVID, which raises Kentucky’s total to 9,150 since the beginning of the pandemic.

The next COVID-19 press conference will be Monday, Oct. 18.