Lexington-Fayette County reports 247 new COVID-19 cases

Lexington reported 247 new COVID-19 cases and one new death Wednesday morning, pushing the city’s total case count beyond 16,000 since the pandemic first reached Kentucky.

The new death increases Lexington’s coronavirus death toll to 113. There have also been 876 total hospitalizations. Twenty of those hospitalizations were newly reported Wednesday morning.

Lexington had its worst COVID-19 week yet in the week before Thanksgiving, and health experts fear a larger COVID-19 spike after families gather indoors for the holidays.

University of Kentucky students, who were once a major contributor to Lexington’s COVID-19 cases, will no longer be on campus after classes concluded Tuesday. In-person classes weren’t scheduled to resume after Thanksgiving break.

UK students have accounted for more than 3,000 COVID-19 cases since late July, according to the latest available data from the university. That means a little more than 12.5 percent of the on-campus student population contracted COVID-19 during the fall semester.

The more than 3,000 cases amounted to about 19 percent of all of Lexington’s COVID-19 cases. At one point, the UK student population accounted for more than 20 percent of the city’s total cases.

The university’s case count surged in late September. New cases on campus dropped dramatically before beginning to trend upward again at the end of the semester.

UK President Eli Capilouto shared a letter with the campus Tuesday in which he said he was thankful for the efforts of the UK community during the pandemic.

“We have persevered,” he wrote. “We have overcome challenges that were neither expected nor fair. We sought new ways to do our jobs, always putting the needs and success of our community and students first.”

The university will continue reporting new COVID-19 data for the fall semester until the end of this week.

Jeremy Chisenhall covers breaking news for the Lexington Herald-Leader and Kentucky.com. He joined the paper in 2020, and is originally from Erlanger, Ky.

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