County COVID-19 incidence rate soars this week

The COVID-19 incidence rate map for Monday shows every Kentucky county at the red or critical level except for Hickman County.

A surge in new COVID-19 cases reported in Caldwell County in the first week of the year has led the county’s incidence rate to soar over the last few days.

The county had enjoyed low number of COVID cases from Christmas Day to Jan. 4, but reported double-digit numbers on Jan. 5, Jan. 6 and Friday, sending the incidence rate high into the red or critical level.

A county’s incidence rate is the number of new COVID-19 cases reported over a seven-day period per 100,000 people. The Kentucky Department of Public Health maintains those numbers and provides them to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which generates a color-coded incidence rate map for all 120 Kentucky counties.

Counties in the red or critical level had more than 25 new cases per 100,000 people over the previous seven days, while those at the orange or accelerated level have from 10 to 25 cases. Those in the yellow or community spread level had 1 to 10 cases, while those in the green or on track level have less than 1 case.

Caldwell County had seen its incidence rate go into the orange level on Christmas Day after spending 58 straight days at the red level. It dipped back into the red level on Jan. 3-6 and into the orange level on Thursday and Friday before skyrocketing into the red level.

Caldwell County reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 on Jan. 5, 15 on Jan. 6 and 15 on Friday. However, it reported only two cases on Thursday, four on Saturday and one each on Sunday and Monday. Those larger numbers greatly affected the countys incidence rate.

Caldwell County’s incidence rate went from 22.4 (orange) on Friday to 67.2 (red) on Saturday, 87.4 on Sunday and 107.6 on Monday. The last time the county had a triple-digit incidence rate was on Dec. 12 with a rate of 114.3.

Statewide, Kentucky reported that 119 of its 120 counties were at the red level on Sunday and Monday, the most to be at that level at one time since the pandemic began.

Daily COVID-19 information is provided by the Pennyrile District Health Department on its Facebook page. The PDHD oversees health departments in Caldwell, Crittenden, Livingston, Lyon and Trigg counties. Its Facebook also has other health information. More information can be found at pennyrilehealth.org.