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After trending toward the Red alert status last week, Louisville’s COVID-19 cases are now at the Orange level, according to Mayor Greg Fischer and Public Health and Wellness Director Dr. Sarah Moyer.

An orange alert level includes a combination of data metrics, but most notably means there are 10-25 positive cases per 100,000 people per day, based on the most recent 7-day average.

Louisville’s current rate is 24.2 cases per 100,000 people per day. The prior week it was 24.9  

Speaking during this week’s COVID-19 update on Tuesday, Dr. Moyer cautioned that while Louisville is at the Orange level, the city is treading dangerously close to the borderline of 25 cases per 100,000 that would move the city back to Red.

Mayor Fischer acknowledged that many are feeling “COVID-19 fatigue,” but he stressed that recent increases in cases nationally and locally are reminders that the virus is still here and still dangerous.

“As the numbers are showing, this virus is not ready to be over,” Mayor Fischer said. “It doesn’t take a day off. It’s not going to stop until we stop it. The goal is to get to the point where everyone is practicing the right things. So, it’s wearing masks, social distancing, avoiding crowded spaces.”

Being faithful to those measures is the only way to reverse the trends not just locally, but around the country, he said.

“This is something where we can’t look the other way,” he said. “We’ve got to come together and get this done.”

 

Here are the key data metrics for the week of October 13, 2020:

  •       COVID-19 cases increased over the previous week for a total of 19,795 cases.
  •       Louisville’s rolling two-week average positivity rate is at 7.2 percent.
  •       Hospitalization data:
    • 9.9% of patients currently hospitalized have COVID-19.
    • 34 patients in ICU with COVID-19 as of October 13.
    • 24 COVID-19 patients on ventilators as of October 13.
  •          35.4 % of COVID-19 cases in Louisville are in the 15-34 age range. The CDC reported that young adults account for more than 20% of all confirmed cases in the U.S.
  •         Cases continue to be in every Louisville ZIP code. There are higher case numbers in west and south Louisville among Black and Latino communities.

Dr. Moyer said the disproportionately high number of COVID cases in these areas illustrate the overall inequities within our current healthcare system.

Louisville and the Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness are working to alleviate some of the issues by offering more testing in impacted areas.

“We have over 21 sites available in every area of town, and especially in west Louisville,” Dr. Moyer said. “An important step in stopping the spread of COVID-19 is to know if you are positive or not.”

Dr. Moyer urged residents to get tested in order to make better informed decisions about their health.

“With cases continuing to rise and a vaccine still some time away, we all have to protect ourselves and others by avoiding crowded indoor spaces, wearing your mask and practicing social distancing,” Dr. Moyer said. “There’s complications with long-term effects of COVID-19 that we do not want people to experience.”

Local critical care doctor shares insights from treating COVID19 patients

Dr. Sonia Compton, a pulmonary and critical care specialist treating COVID-19 patients in Louisville since the start of the pandemic, said there are common misconceptions and changing trends with the COVID pandemic.

One of the major changes in trends Dr. Compton has observed is the number of younger patients contracting COVID-19 with more prolonged and severity of illness.

 “Early on, there was talk about older people with heart and lung disease and we’re seeing less of that,” she said, and more among people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s.

Dr. Compton shared her personal experiences with patients and described what can happen to even healthy people, based on the acute and long-term effects of COVID.

“I have one patient that had asthma, got admitted to the ICU and improved,” Dr. Compton said. “Now two-and-a-half months later, he has persistent shortness of breath and chest pains. Even though his CT scans and oxygen levels are better, he’s having these symptoms and is very limited in his activities daily.”

And while most healthcare systems in the area are opening post-COVID clinics, she said there’s no treatment for the lingering effects of COVID, she said.

Dr. Compton said a lack of caution and information are contributing factors in cases rising among the younger demographic. She added that some people feel that because cases are going up masks won’t work.

“It’s the opposite,” she said. “It’s when we ease up on any of the restrictions that the virus starts to spread. We know that masks work. There’s good data emerging that masks not only decrease transmission but may also contribute to a lower severity of illness. But they are mostly effective when used in conjunction with social distancing and staying away from gatherings of more than 10 people.”

First Responder Data

Currently, 63 members of LMPD, Louisville Fire, Metro EMS, Metro Corrections and the Sheriff’s Office are off-duty due to COVID-19:

  • 35 are off with positive tests and in self-isolation
  • 6 are off and quarantined due to exposure to someone who tested positive
  • 22 are off with symptoms, pending test results

Positive test numbers for first responders/public safety since the incident began:

  • 227 positive tests
  • 192 have fully recovered and returned to duty

Metro Corrections inmate data: 3,647 inmates have been tested

  • 231 positives
  • tests are pending