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Fact Check | Where COVID-19 cases increased most in December

Cases more than doubled in 9 Kentucky counties
WKYT Fact Check
WKYT Fact Check(Gray Media)
Published: Jan. 3, 2021 at 9:14 AM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The number of COVID-19 cases more than doubled in nine of Kentucky’s 120 counties during December as the state saw a record surge in the virus.

Comparing the increase in cases in each county between December 1 and December 31, counties in southern and rural eastern Kentucky dominated the list of the counties with the largest percentage gains.

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Percentage increase in new cases

Topping the list of biggest percentage increases was McCreary County, home to just over 17,000 people. The county’s number of cases jumped by 692 in December which was a 163% monthly increase compared to the month before.

Other Kentucky counties with the biggest percentage gains in December included Wayne, Pulaski, Boyle, Owen, Clinton, Fleming, Trimble, Mason, and Letcher counties, according to a WKYT analysis of Kentucky Department of Public Health statistics.

In 67 counties, the number of cases increased by more than 50% in December. Elliott, Fulton and Lee counties were the only county with increases of less than 25%.

Number of new cases

With 5,832 new cases in December, Fayette County’s case number increased 33% in December.

Jefferson County keeps adding the most overall new cases each month. It added 13,429 in December which was more than twice as many as #2 Fayette County and nearly four times more than #3 Kenton County.

“Every day we are reminded how fragile the progress we have made in defeating this virus really is,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “We will wait and watch closely over the coming days and weeks to gauge the impact the holidays may have had on our recent success in slowing new case growth. With more vaccines arriving in 2021, we have a new sense of hope but right now we must all continue to do our part to stop this virus, including wearing a mask and avoiding large in-person gatherings.

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