Caldwell reports two COVID-related deaths, incidence rate wavers

The state’s COVID-19 incidence rate map for Thursday shows only four of Kentucky’s 120 counties that are not at the highest level of incidence. Those include Caldwell County, which had an incidence rate of 23.5.

The Pennyrile District Health Department reported 15 COVID-related deaths in the five-county district on Thursday.

Lyon County reported four of those: a 95-year-old woman, a 59-year-old man, a 71-year-old woman and an 85-year-old man. Caldwell County reported two deaths: a 66-year-old woman and an 84-year-old man. Crittenden, Livingston and Trigg counties each reported three COVID-related deaths.

The Caldwell County deaths were the first reported in the county since Dec. 22. That brings the county’s COVID-related death toll to 21. The first COVID-related death in the county was reported on Nov. 18.

The COVID-19 incidence rate for Caldwell County is back on the rise. After coming out of the red or critical level for the first time in 58 days on Dec. 25 and staying at the orange or accelerated level for nine days, the county slipped back to the red level on Sunday for four days.

Caldwell County moved back into the orange level on Thursday with an incidence rate of 23.5.

A COVID-19 incidence rate is the number of new cases reported per 100,000 people over the previous seven days. That information is gathered by the Kentucky Department of Public Health and given to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which provides a color-coded map of Kentucky indicating each county’s incidence rate.

A county at the red or critical level has 25 or more new cases per 100,000 people over the previous seven days, while a county at the orange or accelerated level has 10 to 25 new cases per 100,000 people. A county at the yellow or community spread level has 1 to 10 new cases per 100,000 people, while a county at the green or on track level has less than 1 new case per 100,000 people.

The number of Kentucky counties in the red level had been decreasing at the end of the year, when 99 of the state’s 120 counties were at the red level on Dec. 30. On Thursday, however, 116 counties — 96.7% — were at the red level, with Caldwell County being one of only four counties to be at the orange level.

There have been more than 100 Kentucky counties at the red level in 54 of the last 55 daily reports, from Nov. 14 through Thursday.

COVID-19 information and other health information about the five-county PDHD can be found on the health department’s Facebook page. Health information can also be found at pen nyrilehealth.org.