© 2024 Louisville Public Media

Public Files:
89.3 WFPL · 90.5 WUOL-FM · 91.9 WFPK

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact info@lpm.org or call 502-814-6500
89.3 WFPL News | 90.5 WUOL Classical 91.9 WFPK Music | KyCIR Investigations
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Stream: News Music Classical

Rural Ohio Valley Counties Lack Sufficient Coronavirus Tests, Report Says

Sydney Boles

Just 15% of Kentucky counties meet minimum recommended coronavirus testing levels, according to a new report from health care company Castlight. Sixty-seven percent of West Virginia counties and 31% of Ohio counties met the threshold. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that states have the capacity to test 1% of the population every seven days. 

Forty-eight states —  all but Kentucky and Colorado —  meet that threshold at the state level. But a county-by-county analysis shows that higher levels of testing in urban counties disguises a lack of adequate testing in rural areas. Nationwide, nearly twice as many counties lacking adequate tests were rural. 

Both nationwide and regionally, urban areas have been hit hardest by the coronavirus but recent outbreaks in rural counties —  largely linked to prisons, meatpacking facilities and nursing homes —  raise concern that for some rural communities, the worst may yet be to come. 

Governors in all three Ohio Valley states are in the process of loosening restrictions meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Ohio opened its barbershops, hair salons and restaurants May 15; West Virginia restaurants opened earlier this month; and Kentucky retail businesses and restaurants will be allowed to reopen at reduced capacity this week.

Can we count on your support?

Louisville Public Media depends on donations from members – generous people like you – for the majority of our funding. You can help make the next story possible with a donation of $10 or $20. We'll put your gift to work providing news and music for our diverse community.