COVID-19 Statistics FAQs

KHA's COVID-19 Statistics Dashboard is one of our most popular data publications. With its popularity comes many questions. In an effort to help everyone understand the numbers and date, KHA has created the following FAQs. Keep your questions coming!

Why do you post these numbers?

KHA shares the COVID-19 statistics weekly in an effort to inform legislators, policy makers and the public of the current status of Kentucky's hospitals during the pandemic.

Are these numbers for the COVID-19/CCP only, or are they for all strains of Coronavirus?

The numbers are for CoVID-19 only , not other coronaviruses.

What does 7-day Positivity Rate mean?

The positivity rate is the percentage of people who tested positive over the last 7 days of tests.

The current method for calculating Kentucky’s 7-day average COVID-19 test positivity includes:

  • Only PCR tests submitted electronically to KDPH through electronic lab result submission (not fax or spreadsheet submission)
  • Data only from labs that are verified to be submitting full testing data, including all positive and negative results for PCR tests
    • New labs are monitored and excluded from positivity calculations for at least one week and then until their feed is verified to be correct
  • Only reports received within the past 7 days IF the specimen collection date was within 7 days of the date the result was reported to KDPH
  • Only tests that are differentiated by facility, date or result (i.e., the same test result from the same person on the same date from the same facility will be counted as only one test result)

In this context, the test positivity rate calculated for Kentucky is: Total positive PCR tests submitted electronically by laboratories/Total PCR tests submitted electronically by laboratories

What counts as a COVID-19 hospitalization?

COVID-19 Hospitalizations (includes ICU hospitalizations) are based on Positive and Probable cases. These hospitalizations are based on PCR and antigen test that are positive WITH symptoms.

Why do the cases and deaths include “probable”?

As defined by the CDC, probable cases are a very narrow category and must meet these CDC guidelines:

  • Meet clinical criteria AND epidemiologic linkage with no confirmatory laboratory testing performed for SARS-CoV-2;
  • Meet presumptive laboratory evidence;
  • Meet vital records criteria with no confirmatory laboratory evidence for SARS-CoV-2.

How many of the deaths were actually caused by something besides COVID-19, but were counted as a COVID death?

If someone is positive for COVID, but died because of a different cause, they are not counted in COVID-19 death numbers. If someone happens to have a comborbidity, but their death is caused by COVID, then their death counts as a COVID death.

Can you compare this year’s COVID deaths with previous years’ influenza numbers?

The CDC reports the number of deaths from the leading causes of death each year. They group the flu with pneumonia. According to their website, https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/flu_pneumonia_mortality/flu_pneumonia.htm, Kentucky’s combined influenza AND pneumonia deaths for the most recently available years were:
 
2018 – 969
2017 – 932
2016 – 888
2015 – 967
2014 – 1,017  
 

Why don’t you report how many people have recovered from COVID-19?

Individuals who test positive and then recover on their own (not admitted to the hospital) are not required to report when they have recovered, so the number of reported recovered cases is not a complete number. You can see the number of REPORTED recoveries on the state’s website: https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19.

What is included in the beds numbers?

The number of beds includes all adult and pediatric beds, ICU, NICU, emergency department, overflow, observation, labor and deliver (if they are dual use rooms) and planned surge beds that are available now.

Why did the number of available hospital beds change this week?

This is the number that hospitals have reported. In very certain circumstances, hospitals have the ability to activate inactive beds for which they have a license. Our data therefore shows the current snapshot of what's available.

How many of these beds are labor and delivery beds?

Hospitals are not asked to report labor and delivery beds for this data. However, NICU beds, total pediatric only beds and total pediatric ICU beds are requested data.

Are hospitals going to start limiting elective procedures so that there are more beds available?

Each hospital is looking at COVID cases daily and, if needed, may adjust scheduling of elective cases, but there is no wholesale shutting down of procedures scheduled currently. This is evaluated by each facility at the local level. KHA has not received any alerts recently of this happening currently.

Are all hospital patients being tested for COVID-19?

No. All patients who have CDC-defined symptoms are tested and all patients who are undergoing procedures where they must be sedated are tested to avoid complications. Beyond that, the hospitals’ physicians and health care professionals can test other patients as needed.

Can you provide access to the raw data?

We use data from the Kentucky Department for Public Health for this report. You can reach out to the KDPH for raw data.