Caldwell back in the red in COVID-19 incidence rate

The COVID-19 incidence rate map from Thursday shows several counties in the Pennyrile region — including Caldwell County — at the red level, indicating more than 25 cases per 100,000 people.

Caldwell County once again found itself listed at the red or critical level of COVID-19 incidence rate this week after spending a week at that level last month.

The Kentucky Department for Public Health compiles information regarding the incidence rate in Kentucky’s 120 counties, then provides that to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (KCHFS), which provides a county map based on that information.

The map is color-coded into four categories: red, or critical, shows an incidence rate of more than 25 cases per 100,000; orange, or accelerated, shows an incidence rate of 10 to 25 cases per 100,000; yellow, or community spread, shows an incidence rate of 1 to 10 cases per 100,000 people; and the green, or on track level, shows an incidence rate of less than 1 case per 100,000.

According to the KCHFS, the seven-day incidence rate is calculated by taking the total number of unique cases in each county over the past seven days, dividing by seven to get a daily average, dividing by the U.S. census bureau county population and multiplied by 100,000 to get the incidence rate per 100,000 people.

The cases counted each day are based on the date an investigation was opened in the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System. Duplicate cases are removed before the calculation, so each positive case is included only once.

Caldwell County went from an incidence rate of 20.2 per 100,000 people on Monday to a rate of 32.5 per 100,000 people on Tuesday, a jump of 60.9%. That rate increased to 39.2 cases per 100,000 people on Wednesday and 43.7 cases per 100,000 people on Thursday, more than double the Monday rate.

Thursday’s incidence rate is the highest for Caldwell County since Sept. 18-20, when the county had an incidence rate of 35.9 cases per 100,000 people.

What bolstered the recent increased rate was the report of 16 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county on Monday and 13 new cases on Tuesday.

Of those 29 cases, five of them were school age (5 to 18), five were 60 or older and 19 were female.

Caldwell County reported only two new cases on Wednesday and one new case on Thursday, which should lead to the incidence rate decreasing.

Thursday’s incidence rate map showed 11 counties in the Pennyrile region at the red level, reaching as far east as Ohio County. Only Union (50.7) and Todd (44.2) counties had a higher incidence rate among those counties than Caldwell.

Statewide, Fulton (62.2), Knox (56.9), Adair (49.8) and Nicholas (47.2) counties had a higher incidence rate. Caldwell County ranked ninth in incidence rate in Kentucky.

Only Robertson County (0.0) was rated at the green level in Kentucky. The statewide positivity rate is 4.94%.

Information about COVID-19 in counties covered by the Pennyrile District Health Department — Caldwell, Crittenden, Livingston, Lyon and Trigg — can be found at the PDHD Facebook page.