LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky on Sunday reported its fourth consecutive weekly decline in COVID-19 cases but its 19th consecutive day of 30 or more deaths in which the virus was a contributing factor.
State health officials confirmed 31 virus-related deaths on Sunday alongside 1,532 new cases, according to a report from Kentucky Public Health.
The state did not provide the ages, genders or home counties of the new victims of COVID-19 reported Sunday. More than half of the 4,051 Kentuckians who have died from the virus were age 70 or older, according to data from Kentucky Public Health.
In a tweet, Gov. Andy Beshear said this is the first time Kentucky has reported four straight weeks of declining caseloads since the virus was first identified in the state. Kentucky's positivity rate, which measures the proportion of coronavirus tests returning positive, also dropped from 8.07% on Saturday to 7.97% on Sunday.
The rate, which has been declining since surpassing 12% in mid-January, last fell below 8% on Dec. 28.
Of the new cases reported Sunday, 245 were confirmed in Jefferson County, according to Kentucky Public Health. Data released Sunday show 96 of the commonwealth's 120 counties were experiencing a "critical" spread of the virus.
Although Jefferson County county remains in the red zone for COVID-19 community transmission, Louisville health officials on Saturday said cases and hospitalizations are decreasing across the city.
As of Sunday, 1,235 Kentuckians were hospitalized with COVID-19, according to state health officials, while 290 were being treated for the virus in intensive care units. More than 130 patients were on ventilators.
According to the state's COVID-19 dashboard, 442,858 Kentuckians as of Sunday had received the first dose of the two-shot coronavirus immunization — up from 431,946 on Saturday. Since Tuesday, Feb. 2, the state has vaccinated 70,103 new people, more than its 68,475 weekly first-dose allocation.
"We are vaccinating people faster than we get doses from the federal government," Beshear said in a tweet Sunday morning. "If you’re having a hard time signing up, it’s because there just aren’t enough doses."
For most people, COVID-19 causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. The vast majority of people recover. Of Kentucky's 377,790 confirmed cases reported since March, at least 44,945 have recovered, according to Kentucky Public Health.
But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal.
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