Louisville officials add new data to COVID-19 data dashboard
This week Mayor Greg Fischer, Dr. Sarah Moyer and other health officials announced new data additions to the city’s COVID-19 data dashboard.
“Continuous improvement is part of our everyday work and it’s especially important in the critical work of sharing information about COVID-19,” said Mayor Fischer. “We’re shifting our focus from daily data reporting to weekly reporting and added additional metrics because it tells us more reliably where we are in our fight to stop the spread of the virus.”
New Data Metrics
New Color-Coded Alert Level Orange
The public COVID-19 dashboard now includes a fourth alert level - orange. Orange notes an “Accelerated Spread > 10-25 daily cases per 100,000 population” based on the previous seven days per the Kentucky Department of Health data on COVID-19.
“Earlier this week the Kentucky Department of Public Health established new recommendations for schools based on color-coded alert levels,” said Dr. Moyer, director of the Department of Public Health and Wellness and Chief Health Strategist. “We felt it was important to have our levels be consistent with those used by the State. And the good news is that Louisville has moved out of level red down to level orange.”
Moyer attributed the move from red to orange to COVID-19 case numbers and deaths trending down slightly as well as the department’s hiring and training of more contact tracers who can quickly work with new people who test positive.
“We’re also seeing the effects of less travel and mask wearing,” said Dr. Moyer.
She also warned against feeling a “false sense of security” at the slight decline. In July, a significant increase in COVID-19 cases at the end of July and August was traced back to the July 4th weekend. “It will take a month to see if case counts will increase from Labor Day weekend,” she said. “So please keep up the good work of wearing your mask anytime you’re in close contact with others and limiting where you go.”
Hospitalization data has been added to the dashboard. It is an important indicator of trends in COVID-19 as a barometer of serious illness in positive cases; and can alert us to a possible impending surge. This data is important to track to ensure there is adequate hospital capacity to treat not only COVID cases, but also normal hospital cases.
Race and Ethnicity
The department has been sharing race and ethnicity data since early in the pandemic, but now it’s available on the public dashboard.
“This pandemic has highlighted that our African American and Hispanic residents have had a higher exposure to COVID-19 and thus higher cases and more severe illness,” said Dr. Moyer. “These individuals are more likely to be essential workers, have no paid time off, and already have a higher incidence of underlying medical conditions which are caused by years of systemic racism.”
Positivity Rate and Testing
A new rolling two-week (14-day) positivity rate has been added to the dashboard. It includes more complete data on the total numbers of tests performed in Jefferson County. Whereas the cumulative positivity rate calculation accounted for all cases since the beginning of the pandemic, the two-week rolling positivity rate provides a more current view of the positivity rate for Jefferson County.
“With more complete and accurate data, we can make more informed decisions in the city and in the community,” said Bill Altman, Public Health and Wellness’ executive leading the city’s community-wide testing strategy. “Another thing that’s important to understand is that a rolling two-week average can change quickly both ways. It can go down or up. We need to keep a close watch on this and make sure we adhere to the measures we know are important in controlling the spread.”
Altman also announced two COVID-19 pop up testing sites happening this weekend:
- September 19, 9a - 3p - Bates Memorial Baptist Church, 620 Lampton St. No appointment necessary. Sponsored by WellCare Health and BlueWater Labs.
- September 20, 10a - 3p - Okolona Elementary School – 7606 Preston Hwy, pop up testing, no appointment needed. Sponsored by Family Health Centers, Bluewater Labs, La Casita Center, Poder, Al Dia, and Louisville Metro Office for Globalization.
“Louisville’s testing capacity has greatly expanded,” Altman said. “I encourage people to get tested. You should be able to get your results back anywhere from 12 to 72 hours.”
A complete list of COVID-19 testing sites can be found at www.louisvilleky.gov/covid19.
# # #
The city’s COVID-19 data dashboard, a complete list of COVID-19 testing sites, information on symptoms, prevention and contact tracing can be found at www.louisvilleky.gov/covid19. The LOU HEALTH COVID19 Helpline is also available: 502- 912-8598.