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State Department of Public Health data shows sharp decline in new COVID cases, deaths, positivity rate

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

COVID-19 data released by the Kentucky Department for Public Health on Monday shows there has been a sharp decline in new cases, deaths, and the positivity rate over the past month, but the overall number of deaths since the pandemic began two years ago has topped 15,000.

The latest Community Levels in the state, in a map issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on April 1, shows 114 counties in the green (indicating a low level), with only six in the yellow (medium level) and none in the red.

Showing the trends over the past month, on March 7, public health officials reported 2,688 new cases during the previous week, with 275 deaths and a positivity rate of 6.04%.

The April 4 report by the state indicated 943 cases for the previous week, with 135 deaths and a positivity rate down to 1.97%.

There have now been 15,028 deaths attributed to COVID in Kentucky since the first one was reported almost exactly two years ago.

On March 14, Gov. Andy Beshear said he would “pause” his COVID-19 press conferences held each Monday as the number of cases and other metrics continued to show declines in Kentucky, “and I’m going to hope that pause becomes permanent,” he said.

At the time, Beshear pointed out while COVID is still with us, “Things continue to move in the right direction, and they are continuing to move at a regular pace. That means cases, positivity rates, hospitalizations, those in the ICU and those on a ventilator. Every metric is moving the right direction.”

The drop in the positivity rate was another factor in ending his weekly press conferences.

“That’s what we really want to see,” Beshear said. “We really want to see these get down to where we were before delta. That was last summer, and right now it looks like we are headed in that direction.”

More encouraging news on the pandemic came from comparing the hospital reports over the past month. 
On March 7, there were 652 Kentuckians hospitalized with COVID. Of them, 148 were in the ICU and 88 on a ventilator.

As of April 4, there were 240 people hospitalized, with 36 in the ICU and 18 on a ventilator.

While the CDC is now issuing their Community Levels report for Kentucky’s 120 counties each Friday, the state has begun releasing their weekly numbers the following Monday.

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