Despite Strong Start, Kentucky is Considerably Behind in COVID-19 Testing
Approximately a month ago, Kentucky was a leader in testing per capita in our region, behind only Illinois on March 21st. More recent numbers however show that the state is falling behind considerably, a trend which was notable in the data as early as March 31st and has not improved in the weeks since.
Among states in the region, which includes Kentucky and the seven states that border the commonwealth, Kentucky ranks sixth in COVID-19 tests per capita. As of April 16th, the state has conducted only 66.1 tests per 10,000 residents. By comparison, West Virginia has conducted 102.9 tests per 10,000. Tennessee, which has been the subject of comparisons to Kentucky, has conducted more than twice as many tests per 10,000 residents with 123.3.
Most comparisons between Kentucky and Tennessee have failed to account for population variables or the considerable difference in the number of tests administered. Such comparisons provide very little benefit to public health officials or policymakers.
On a positive note, of the 29,747 Kentuckians that have been tested and received results 27,318, or 91.8%, have come back negative. Currently, only 477 individuals in the state are hospitalized related to COVID-19 with an estimated 6,210 hospital beds available.
A full breakdown of state by state data can be found here.