Midway through the year, after a friend asked if any newspaper had done research on the total number of deaths in Kentucky during the COVID-19 year in 2020. Not that I knew of but I went searching for some information.
I contacted Sid Fogle, executive director at the Kentucky Funeral Directors Association, seeking help on where to find that information. I figured the Department of Vital Statistics would have the information but any effort on the website kept giving me just the number of deaths related to COVID-19.
Sid was able to break through the figures to tell me that through June 30, 2020, Kentucky had 25,432 deaths. That would have put us on pace to surpass 50,000.
That would surpass the 48,381 deaths in 2018 and 48,842 in 2019.
Year-end totals are now available and Sid told me earlier this morning that Kentucky registered 55,064 deaths through December 31. That’s 6,222 more than 2019 and 6,600 more than in 2018.
Not all of the increase is due to COVID-19, of course, since we just reached 3,000 deaths from the pandemic earlier this week. But it does account for a good portion of the increase in 2020.