In its most recent report, the health department confirmed 301 new coronavirus cases.
Christian County health officials on Thursday reported 301 new cases of COVID-19. It’s the first report since Sept. 16, when 439 new cases were confirmed.
The incidence rate decreased compared to the week prior — down to 61.0 from 89.0 — but remained well within the “red zone” for community transmission, according to the Kentucky Department for Public Health. A month ago, the rate was nearly the same at 61.2.
In the last month, more than 30% of new cases have been among children and 7.5% have been breakthrough cases.
The highly contagious delta variant has also infected younger people at a much higher rate.
Of the 301 new cases confirmed Thursday in Christian County, 26.91% were considered pediatric cases, with 81 residents 18 and younger testing positive for coronavirus. In the last month, 31.78% of all new cases were among the pediatric age group.
Currently, there has not been any coronavirus vaccination approved for children under 12 years old, although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has suggested there could be one approved for emergency use as early as this winter, but it could take well into next year. On Monday, Pfizer and BioNTech announced their coronavirus vaccine has been shown to be safe and highly effective in young children aged 5 to 11 years.
The news follows a surge in COVID-19 cases among children prompted by the highly contagious delta variant.
As of Sept. 16, more than 5.5 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Nearly 226,000 cases were added the past week — the third-highest number of weekly cases among children since the pandemic began.
Thursday’s report included 36 breakthrough cases — infections among fully vaccinated individuals. In the last month, 7.56% of newly reported cases in Christian County have been among vaccinated individuals.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has found that while the vaccine remains highly effective against hospitalization and death, overall protection appears to be waning over time, especially against the delta variant.
Although the agency on May 1 stopped nationwide tracking of breakthrough cases that don’t result in hospitalizations or death, it does research infections among vaccinated individuals within smaller population centers.
Studies released by the CDC show that vaccine effectiveness dropped from 74.7% in the spring to just 53.1% by midsummer. Another report found that vaccinated New York adults saw a drop in effectiveness from 91.7% in May to just under 80% in July.
Prior to July 21, which is around the time the delta variant was identified locally, just 0.4% of infections were determined to be breakthrough cases, according to data provided to Hoptown Chronicle by the health department.