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WKYT Interactive | Taking a closer look at COVID-19 holiday trends

Published: Dec. 24, 2020 at 4:47 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 24, 2020 at 4:52 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - While there aren’t new statewide coronavirus numbers today, public health officials are still urging folks to celebrate Christmas safely.

State officials say we have made progress, beating back a coronavirus surge here before Christmas. They hope to see that continue after the holiday.

The graph below tracks our seven-day average since the pandemic began and you can really see the fall surge we just went through, starting around Labor Day. It picked up after Halloween and peaked at the beginning of December:

Just to quantify those post-holiday increases we’ve seen: close to 30 percent in the two weeks after Memorial Day and 33 percent after July 4th, which is a 16 percent increase after Labor Day.

By Halloween, cases were already going up and we saw 27 percent increase after. Then in the two weeks after Thanksgiving, we saw a 25 percent surge.

State officials say tighter restrictions at that time helped tamp those numbers down.

If you’re traveling around Kentucky, here’s something you might want to be aware of. In the graphic below, the darker shade means the higher COVID-19 incidence rate in that county. You can see the counties with the highest rates. Mercer and Whitley counties both have incidence rates of close to 94 cases per 100,000 people. The state average is below 58.

Growth is slowing right now, and the positivity rate is declining. Hopefully these are things we can continue after Christmas and New Year’s.

In a video message today, Governor Beshear said his Christmas wish is to defeat the coronavirus and for Kentuckians not to lose the compassion they’ve shown to others this year.

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