Beshear says positivity rate ‘give us better picture’

By Tom Latek, Kentucky Today

Among the terms you have heard during the COVID-19 pandemic is Kentucky’s positivity rate. Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday explained why that figure is important.

During a Capitol press briefing, he said the positivity rate tells you two things: whether there is sufficient testing and is an early indicator of how much the virus is picking up.

“Your positivity rate will start going up faster than your number of cases will go up,” he said, “so it gives you a snapshot into the intensity of the spread of the virus. What we have seen when we look at when we’ve lost people, is that when you have your greatest increases is when we lose the most people. So, it gives us an idea of the trend before we start seeing it manifest in cases, it gives us an indicator of when we would become concerned about the hospital capacity.”

He added, “It’s another piece of data, just like the case numbers, that give us a better picture.”

On Monday, Kentucky’s positivity rate was 3.45%, based on a seven-day rolling average. That was up 0.02% from Sunday and marked the fifth straight day of increases.

A total of 313 new cases of the coronavirus were reported to state public health officials on Monday. This was 55 less than Sunday, but 100 more than last Monday. Since some labs are closed or do not report on weekends, the numbers are often lower until Tuesday or Wednesday.

Six counties had ten or more cases on Monday: Jefferson 67, Shelby 28, Boone 24, Laurel 14, Trigg 13, and Fayette 10. There have now been 445,449 positive cases in Kentucky during the nearly 14 months of the pandemic.

Five new deaths came in reports from local health departments, with three more from the ongoing audit of death certificates issued last fall and winter. This makes 6.525 Kentuckians lost due to COVID-19.

Monday’s hospital census showed 414 people hospitalized due to COVID-19. 102 were in the ICU and 47 on a ventilator. All three numbers were close to those on Sunday.

The number of Kentuckians who have received at least one dose of the vaccines is now 1,833,652, so the state is less than 670,000 away from reaching the governor’s 2.5 million vaccine challenge mark, which is when he will lift most capacity restrictions on businesses and venues holding up to 1,000 people.

With over 500 vaccination sites around the state, you can visit to find ones near you.

To see Kentucky’s full daily COVID-19 report, go to

Gov. Beshear’s next press briefing on the coronavirus is scheduled for Thursday afternoon at 4, although his office will release daily numbers on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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