(LEX 18) — Eight Kentucky counties are seeing some of the highest rates of COVID-19 infections in the country, according to a new report from The New York Times.
Perry County currently tops the list for cases per 100,000 people. Other counties in the top 20 in the country include Rockcastle, Clay, Knox, Powell, Whitley, Monroe, and Bell counties. All of those places have at least two hundred cases per 100,000 residents.
Kentucky is averaging more than 5,000 cases a day, which is a 21% increase in the past two weeks.
Since most of these cases are in school-aged children, Governor Beshear is calling on school districts across the Commonwealth to implement universal masking in addition to testing kids who are exposed to COVID-19.
"If schools try to just use a testing program and do not pair it with universal masking, it will not work. It will endanger the children, it will endanger the teachers, and it will endanger the community," said Gov. Beshear during one of his weekly COVID-19 updates.
Kentucky's neighbor to the south, Tennessee, also has several counties in the top 20 as well. Both states rank at the very top of the list with most COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the last ten days.
Following Tennessee and Kentucky, two western states top the list: Alaska and Wyoming.
Most of the other states among the top 10 are in the southeastern United States including South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. West Virginia, Guam, and Oklahoma also rank in the top 10.
Perry County is averaging 83 new cases per day equivalent to 324 cases per 100,000 residents, the highest rate in the country.
The Times cited state and local health agencies to compile the data.