Louisville remains in yellow alert status for COVID-19

June 22, 2021

Vaccines continue to be effective against variants, safe for pregnant women

 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 22, 2021) – On Tuesday, Dr. Sarah Moyer, Chief Health Strategist, was joined by the Department of Public Health and Wellness Associate Medical Director Dr. SarahBeth Hartlage and Antonio -T Made Taylor, Radio Show/Podcast Host and Co-Owner @Real Talk With T-Made Live and Executive Director of the nonprofit Hip-Hop n2 Learning, to discuss vaccines and how to build vaccine confidence in the Black community.

“While our positive case counts are staying lower, COVID-19 is still present in Louisville,” said Dr. Moyer.  “I’m concerned that we are seeing a higher percentage of confirmed cases in our Black and Hispanic communities compared to our overall population. The good news is we have three safe, very effective vaccines that can protect them, and anyone, against the COVID variants present in Louisville.”

Dr. Moyer reported that events continue to be the top setting where infected people reported being 14 days before they got sick.  That includes events like birthday parties, sports games and practices, gatherings at restaurants and bars and other gatherings with family and friends.

“I would encourage anyone who is unvaccinated to practice the same prevention measures you were practicing in the winter: wear a mask when you are around others and you don’t know if they’ve been vaccinated; wash your hands thoroughly and often; social distance as much as possible and get tested regularly, especially if you aren’t wearing a mask regularly or if you have any symptoms.”

Here are the key COVID-19 data metrics for June 22, 2021:

  • Louisville remains in the yellow alert level
  • There were 450 new cases over the previous two weeks, 11 new deaths were reported.
  • Hospitalization data:
    • 39 patients currently hospitalized have COVID-19
    • 14 patients in ICU with COVID-19
    • 13 COVID-19 patients on ventilators

 

Vaccines

  • 812,109 total vaccine doses given in Metro Louisville since December.
  • 53% of Louisville residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 44% have completed the vaccine series.

Pregnancy and Vaccines

Dr. SarahBeth Hartlage addressed concerns and questions regarding pregnancy and COVID vaccines.

“We often hear from pregnant women that they have concerns about COVID vaccines. These fears are understandable – moms want to do what is best for baby. But pregnant women are some of the least likely members of our community to be vaccinated, especially if they are age 18-24, Black or Latina,” she said.

 

“Pregnant women who get infected with COVID are more likely to need oxygen, to be admitted to an ICU, to need a ventilator, or even to die from COVID,” she added. “They are also more likely to have pregnancy complications like preeclampsia, preterm birth and stillbirth, or to have babies who need care in the neonatal ICU.”

 

Dr. Hartlage said that while initially pregnant women were excluded from vaccine trials, currently 124,597 pregnant people have been vaccinated. The CDC is following a cohort and the first large study was published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine.

 

“In that group of 3,958, there were no changes in complications among mothers or infants after the mothers were vaccinated,” Dr. Hartlage said.  “It’s also important for pregnant people to know that all professional groups – including the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine – recommend that pregnant patients be vaccinated. There are no restrictions on timing, and you can be vaccinated during any trimester of pregnancy. Remember that if you are vaccinated during pregnancy, your baby is born with antibodies to COVID already.”

Building Vaccine Confidence in the Black Community

Antonio T-Made Taylor and Hip Hop N2 Learning have partnered with the Department of Public Health and Wellness to share information about vaccines with the Black community and to host a pop-up vaccination event.

“We want to serve our community and make sure that everyone we love and call a part of our village gets vaccinated,” Taylor said.  “There’s been skepticism and mistrust because traditionally African Americans have not had equal access to healthcare and have not been treated well by healthcare. They have been experimented on with tragic results.”

Taylor said, however, that sentiment among the Black community is changing as many are seeing more and more in the community get vaccinated and as restrictions have lifted due to the decrease in cases due to more being vaccinated.

“People are becoming more confident in the vaccine, but we must continue to get the facts about them out to everyone. We must not let the propaganda and lies lead,” he said. “We need to all push as many facts possible and make them easy to find and easy to understand.”

Taylor and Hip Hop N2 Learning are partnering with the Department of Public Health and Wellness to host a popup vaccination event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 26,  at Newburg Park, 4810 Exeter Ave.  The Moderna vaccine will be provided and anyone is welcome to attend. There will be food, music provided by B96FM, and “special surprise guests,” Taylor said. 

# # #

View this week’s COVID-19 briefing with public health officials hereThe city’s COVID-19 data dashboard, a complete list of COVID-19 testing sites, vaccine information, prevention and contact tracing can be found at www.louisville.gov/covid19. The LOU HEALTH COVID19 Helpline is also available: 502- 912-8598.

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