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IN THE RED ZONE: County continues to see escalation in COVID cases

Clark County has topped the 600 COVID-case mark and has moved into the COVID red zone, according to Clark County Health Department.

As of Thursday afternoon, which is The Sun’s press deadline for the Friday edition, the Health Department had reported 64 new cases over the last seven days, pushing the local incidence rate above 25 and into the red zone.

“If you’re in a red county, anything you don’t need to do, don’t. Stay home as much as possible,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in a recent press conference. 

As of Thursday’s daily local COVID update, there had been 611 total cases of the potentially deadly virus confirmed in the county. Of those, 75 remained active. 

A dozen Clark residents have died from complications of the virus, and as of Sept. 30, at least 33 had required hospitalization. 

A county’s incidence rate is calculated by taking the seven-day rolling average, dividing it by the county’s population and then multiplying by 100,00 to get the rate per 100,000 people. 

As of Wednesday, the local rate was 25.2. By Thursday, the rate had changed to 22.7, which classified the county as orange, the rating for counties with an incidence rate higher than 10 but lower than 25. 

As of Thursday afternoon, there had already been 32 new cases since Sunday.  

The week ending Oct. 18 marked the most cases reported in a single week, with 61 new cases. 

The previous highest was the first week of August, when there were 39 new cases reported. 

October is on track to be the highest reporting month for the county. Already, more than 130 new cases have been reported this month. 

The highest reporting month so far has been August, when there were 137 cases reported. 

 

Statewide reporting

Statewide, trends have been similar. 

As of Thursday, there had been 103,305 positive COVID cases in the state and 1,442 deaths. 

Nearly 2 million tests have been performed with a 6 percent positivity rate. 

At least 18,277 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus. 

With many Kentucky counties reporting incidence rates higher than 25 per 100,000 residents, which lands them in the red zone, Beshear has issued new guidance. 

Red zone reduction recommendations include: 

— Employers should allow employees to work from home when possible

— Government offices that do not provide critical services need to operate virtually

— Reduce in-person shopping; order online or pickup curbside as much as possible

— Order take-out; avoid dining in restaurants or bars

— Prioritize businesses that follow and enforce the mask mandate and other guidelines

— Reschedule, postpone or cancel public events

— Do not host or attend gatherings of any size

— Avoid non-essential activities outside your home

— Reduce overall activity and contacts, and follow existing guidance.

“It is not a good time to be out in public. This is the most dangerous it has been in eight months,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Department for Public Health. “The risk of you getting infected in the state of Kentucky has never been higher.”