The COVID-19 pandemic has surged forward again in Kentucky following the Thanksgiving holiday. State officials reported 2,813 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, which raised the seven-day average to 2,039, its highest rate since Oct. 12, according to Kentucky Health News.
The seven-day infection rate is 41.73 per 100,000, placing Kentucky at 16th among the United States, according to The New York Times.
The Hancock County rate is 88.4 per 100,000, with a total of 1,522 cases and 18 deaths. The county is currently shown in the “red zone,” and is among the highest incidence rates in the Kentucky.
The impact locally has included the hospitalization of former county attorney Harold Wayne Newton. Brother L.T. Newton said Harold Wayne is currently receiving treatment for COVID-19 symptoms at Deaconess in Evansville, and is “getting better.”
As well, Riverview Restaurant has been closed for more than a week after cases of coronavirus among workers.
The Green River District Health Department reported 18 cases in the county Tuesday, with 39,975 total cases in the seven-county district, with 648 deaths. Daviess County reported 253 active cases and three deaths, with 82 active in Henderson County and one death. Ohio County reported 56 active cases and one death.
“We are again seeing rising incidence rates of COVID-19,” said Clay Horton, Public Health Director. “The best way to protect yourself and those you love is to get vaccinated against COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and highly effective. Wearing a mask when in public or around people you don’t live with is an effective way to reduce spread. If you are not yet vaccinated, go get vaccinated today. If you are around many people right now, you should assume you are being exposed to the virus and do everything you can to protect yourself.”
COVID-19 patients hospitalized on Friday numbered 972, with 284 in intensive care and 156 aided by mechanical ventilation.
Kentucky has reported 11,091 deaths due to COVID-19.
All persons age five or older are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, and all persons age 18 and older are eligible for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. COVID-19 booster shots are now available.
CDC recommends that anyone with any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 get tested, regardless of vaccination status or prior infection. If you get tested because you have symptoms or were potentially exposed to the virus, you should stay away from others pending test results and follow the guidance of your healthcare provider or a public health professional.
Green River District Health Department is offering free COVID-19 testing. To schedule an appointment, visit the GRDHD website, healthdepartment.org
Kentucky residents can visit vaccine.ky.gov to find a vaccine location and sign up for update notifications. Additional COVID-19 vaccine information can be found at vaccine.gov. Retail pharmacies and health centers are also providing COVID-19 vaccinations.
Owensboro Health reported 39 hospitalized COVID-19 patients at its regional hospital in Owensboro on Tuesday. A majority of the cases were in people 60 and older. The peak for OH occurred on Sept. 21, 2021, with 85 hospitalized cases.
Brian Hamby, director of marketing for OH, said Tuesday the healthcare provider saw just 19 hospitalized on Nov. 19 just before the uptick in cases began.
“We were able to close down some of the space dedicated to COVID care around that time, but as the numbers grew, we started that back up,” he said. The space occupies about half of a floor at the hospital.
“If the need arises, we are again prepared to expand our existing capacity to meet the needs of our patients,” Hamby said. “We will grow and evolve as the caseload demands.”
While the recent emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has grabbed headlines, U.S. health officials said there are indications it is not as dangerous as the dominant Delta variant, which still makes up 99 percent of all cases nationwide, according to the CDC.
There has not yet been a reported case of the Omicron variant in Kentucky.
The CDC said over the weekend cases nationwide have dropped to about half of the peak in late summer, and there are about 86,000 new cases per day.
COVID-19 has been connected to 780,000 deaths nationwide.