FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky hadn't seen above 1,000 new coronavirus cases in months, but this week, the Commonwealth reached that as the more contagious Delta variant spreads.

What You Need To Know

  • Kentucky reached over 1,000 new cases Tuesday for the first time in months

  • The seven day positivity rate has tripled since the start of the month

  • Doctors say improving vaccination rates is the best line of defense

  • Several Kentucky counties have less than 25% of the population vaccinated

Tuesday, the Commonwealth reported had 1,054 new cases. That's the first time there were more than 1,000 cases since April 7. It was also the highest single-day case number since March 11. 

Come Wednesday, there was mild improvement. There were 963 new cases reported, 181 of which were in people 18 or under. 

The positivity rate has more than tripled since the start of the month. On July 1, the seven day positivity rate was 1.99%. On Wednesday, it was 6.12%.

It's a trend not unique to Kentucky as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the more contagious Delta variant now accounts for 83% of overall coroanvirus cases in the U.S.

Dr. Sarah Moyer of Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness said vaccination is the best line of defense.

“New COVID cases are increasing in every state and in different parts of the country, where residents are vaccinated at lower rates, we are seeing a surge in infections," said Dr. Moyer. "Areas such as Missouri, Nevada, Arkansas and Mississippi where transmission is very high and vaccinations are low, their public health experts are starting to see a strain on the healthcare system. That is something I hope we don’t get to, but we are starting to see that same rise here.”

According to the state's COVID-19 data, 51% of Kentucky's overall population is currently vaccinated. However, there are currently several counties that have vaccination percentages in the low 20s. 

The bottom five counties for percent of the population with at least one dose are:

  • Ballard County: 22%
  • Christian County: 22%
  • Hickman County: 23%
  • Spencer County: 23%
  • Robertson County: 24%

The top five counties for percent of the population with at least one dose are:

  • Woodford: 66%
  • Franklin: 65%
  • Fayette: 63%
  • Boone: 59%
  • Campbell: 57%