Louisville’s COVID-19 cases continue to rise; officials urge diligence and caution

July 9, 2020

As Louisville’s COVID-19 case counts continue to increase, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness (LMPHW) and the city’s chief health strategist, called on residents to be diligent in working together to stop the spread of the virus.

“In many areas of the country where cities opened weeks before us, they’re seeing extreme spikes in cases,” said the Mayor. “Their hospitals are experiencing surges and nearing capacity, and they’re putting restrictions back in place. We don’t want that to happen in Louisville. But it’s up to all of us to prevent that.”

According to Dr. Moyer, the most common cause of infection is among household members, people who travel, and in workplaces. She also said the highest increase in cases continues to be among adults ages 20 to 44.  

“Even if you think you’re young and healthy, our data is clear - you can still get COVID-19,” Dr. Moyer said. “And while you may not get very sick, think about the people you could be infecting who may have a weaker immune system. Please continue to avoid large gatherings, keep your distance from others, wear a mask and wash your hands often.”

LMPHW inspectors as well as Kentucky Alcohol Beverage and Control officials will continue to visit bars, restaurants and other venues on evenings and weekends to assess compliance with Gov. Beashear’s Kentucky Healthy at Work guidelines.

Last weekend inspectors visited 86 establishments. Eleven were issued orders to correct such things as employees not wearing masks or not wearing them properly, not ensuring social distancing, and allowing customers to congregate in large groups rather than encouraging social distancing.

Since March 23, health inspectors have investigated more than 3,600 complaints. Complaints for businesses who aren’t following the guidelines can be reported to Metro 311.

“Our businesses are working hard to keep employees and their guests safe by adhering to Kentucky Healthy at Work COVID-19 guidelines,” said Connie Mendel, assistant director, LMPHW. “But stopping the spread of the coronavirus also falls on patrons. When you visit your favorite restaurant or bar, please follow their rules and processes. Wear a mask until it’s time to eat or drink and If it’s crowded, avoid it, and go to your next favorite place.”

Contact Tracing

Karen Handmaker, LMPHW’s executive in charge of the city’s contact tracing efforts, said 50 contact tracers have reached out to more than 500 people every day in the past four weeks.

“Our contact tracers tell me that people are very cooperative and willing to share their information” Handmaker said. “This speaks to the kindness and empathy that our contact tracers have for people who are scared or worried about this virus.”

“Many people are relieved to learn that we can help them with essentials such as obtaining groceries or medicine while they are isolating safely at home,” Handmaker added.

She also emphasized that when a contact tracer calls, caller ID will show “LOU HEALTH” and that contact tracers will never ask for social security numbers, bank or credit card information or immigration status.

Testing

During today’s press briefing, Dr. Moyer noted that COVID-19 testing opportunities continue to increase with more people wanting to be tested, which may result in longer wait times for appointments for some.

“Remember, our highest priority is to test people with symptoms,” she said. “If you have no symptoms but chose to travel for a vacation or decided to go to a bar or crowded place and are now worried you may have COVID, it doesn’t mean you need a test. Please stay home as much as possible, monitor yourself for symptoms, and call your healthcare provider about testing if you do get sick. Testing is only one step in preventing the spread of the coronavirus. All of us should be limiting the places we go, wearing a face covering, avoiding large crowds and washing our hands.”

A complete list of testing locations can be found here.

Daily COVID-19 numbers

  • 4,378 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Louisville
    • 55 new since yesterday
  • 219 deaths
    • 1 new since yesterday -73-year-old female
  • 3,192 recovered
    • 38 new since yesterday

Race

Confirmed                   

  • 56% White                         
  • 29% Black                           
  • 5% Asian                                                           

Deceased                   

  • 66% White                         
  • 27% Black                           
  • 4% Asian                                                             

Ethnicity

Confirmed                                       

  • 18% Hispanic/Latino                               

Deceased                

  • 4% Hispanic/Latino                         

Currently, 15 members of LMPD, Louisville Fire, Metro EMS, Metro Corrections and the Sheriff’s Office are off-duty due to COVID-19:

  • 15 is off with positive tests and in self-isolation.
  • 2 is off and quarantined due to exposure to someone who tested positive
  • 41 are off with symptoms, pending test results

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

  • 64 positive tests
  • 49 have fully recovered and returned to duty

Metro Corrections inmate data:

  • 1,831 inmates have been tested
  • 12 positives
  • 1 test is pending