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Even as coronavirus gains strength again in Kentucky, indicators show it's not sending as many people to the hospital

A computer rendering of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Radoslav Zilinsky
Getty Images
A computer rendering of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Kentucky’s COVID-19 positivity rate is on the rise, continuing a weeks-long upward trend, but there's still good news tucked in this week's new numbers.

A quick glance at Kentucky’s community level COVID map shows areas of yellow – that’s medium range – and one county of red creeping in to what was a more reassuring map of green just weeks ago. It’s the map state health officials say represents the best indicator of where the state is and predictor of where it’s headed in the coming weeks.

As of last Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear still sounded less concerned about the uptick, noting that Kentucky hasn’t seen the same corresponding upswing in hospitalizations or patients in the ICU.

"These numbers are staying low, which suggests that whatever we are dealing with now does not cause severe illness nearly at the level of what we have dealt with before."
Gov. Andy Beshear

That trend seems to be holding, with virus-related hospitalizations down from last week.

That’s despite some key measures moving in the wrong direction. Those include the state’s positivity rate, now up more than a percentage point over last week to 10.5% and total number of new cases, which has roughly doubled over the last two weeks.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.