Caldwell County experienced one of its most prolific months of COVID-19 cases in January — surpassing the 1,000 mark — and Kentucky continues to have more than 100 counties at the highest rate of COVID incidence.
In the month of January, the Pennyrile District Health Department reported 207 cases of COVID-19, 20.25% (about one-fifth) of the total of 1,022 cases reported through the end of that month. Caldwell County had 1,057 cases reported through Thursday since the pandemic began last March.
The county reported four COVID-related deaths in January: an 85-year-old man and a 66-year-old woman reported on Jan. 7 and a 67-year-old man and a 63-year-old woman reported on Jan. 20. Caldwell County has had 23 COVID-related deaths since the pandemic began, with the first death reported in November.
Caldwell County has reported 35 cases from Monday through Thursday, including eight cases on Monday, 10 on Tuesday, 12 on Wednesday and five on Thursday.
Regarding the COVID incidence rate, Caldwell County has been at the highest level — the red or critical level — since Jan. 3, following a statewide trend.
Of Kentucky’s 120 counties, more than 100 have been at the red level since Dec. 31. That reached a high of 119 counties on Jan. 12, 14 and 16 (no report was given for Jan. 15) and has been declining. On Thursday, 104 counties were at the red level, with 14 at the orange or second-highest level and two at the yellow or third-highest level.
A COVID-19 incidence rate is the number of new cases reported over a seven-day period per 100,000 people, making it a percentage that can be compared with other areas.
The Kentucky Department of Public Health compiles that information each day and provides it to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (KCHFS), which constructs a color-coded map showing the high and low incidence rates around the state.
The red or critical level is the highest incidence rate, indicating more than 25 cases over the last seven days per 100,000 people. The orange or accelerated level indicates 10 to 25 new cases, while the yellow or community spread rate shows 1 to 10 cases and the green or on track level indicates less than 1 case.
Caldwell County’s incidence rate on Thursday was 75.1, a slight increase since the start of the month. On Sunday, the incidence rate was 49.3, but on Monday, it shot up to 66.1. It has been climbing slowly since then.
The state’s incidence rate on Thursday was 46.01.
According to weekly information released by the Pennyrile District Health Department, Caldwell County had 65 active cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, with 60 of those recovering at home. The county has had 974 recovered cases of the 1,052 reported since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March.