Louisville sets another record of positive COVID-19 cases for third consecutive week

December 01, 2020

Mayor Greg Fischer along with Louisville’s Chief Health Strategist Dr. Sarah Moyer reaffirmed their concerns that the city’s COVID-19 cases continue to increase at an alarming rate.

Jefferson County set another record of positive COVID-19 cases surpassing 3,000 cases for the third consecutive week, a course that Mayor Fischer said is benefiting the virus. He added that activities considered normal have the potential to be fatal to residents and the economy while further putting the hospital systems and health care workers at risk.

“Every time someone visits a friend or relative’s house, takes off their mask and sits down for any length of time talking, sharing a drink or a meal, that’s an exposure. We’re providing transportation and an opportunity for the virus to spread and infect more people,” the Mayor said. “We have to recognize that what happens next with this virus is up to us.”

Dr. Moyer reported that out of 3,730 cases opened between November 15 and November 29, 1,548 reported venturing out to public spaces such as school, retail and grocery stores, bars, restaurants and other venues while infectious.

“We all have a personal responsibility to slow the spread of the pandemic and eliminate the virus. It’s imperative that we take an effective, fact-based approach by limiting where we go and who we’re around” said Dr. Moyer. “Let’s do what needs to be done now, so we can return to a strong economy and day-to-day activities.”

Here are the key data metrics for the week of December 1, 2020:

  • There were 3,627 new cases over the previous week.
  • Louisville’s rolling two-week average positivity rate is at 6.2 percent.
  • Hospitalization data:
    • 21.4% of patients currently hospitalized have COVID-19.
    • 94 patients in ICU with COVID-19 as of December 1, an increase from 83 the week prior.  
    • 58 COVID-19 patients on ventilators as of December 1, compared to 56 last week.
  • COVID-19 cases are in every ZIP code and each of them are in the red. “The virus doesn’t move. People move. This clearly shows that,” Dr. Moyer said.
  • Largest increase in cases are in the 20-44-year-old demographic at 42.3%.
  • Given the high level of community spread, interactions with members outside the household puts individuals at greater risk of bringing an infection home. Once one person is infected in a household, it is likely to spread to other members.

Dr. Moyer stated that Louisville’s hospital capacity, which was at 10 percent a month ago, has more than doubled today. With the Thanksgiving holiday in the rearview, she conveyed her fears that the city will see unprecedented spread as a result of residents who traveled, hosted parties and had meals with people outside of their immediate household.

Referencing the hospital systems open letter to the community last week, Dr. Moyer urged residents to wear masks and remain socially distant to avoid creating a burden on our biggest health resources.

“Our hospitals and staff are already feeling the strain. Let’s do all we can to make sure that if any of us need emergency healthcare, whether for COVID or another number of health emergencies, there are doctors, nurses and technicians to help us and provide a bed for us,” Dr. Moyer said.

 

Nurses Make a Plea: “Please be there for us so we can be there for you.”

According to Gallup, 85 percent of Americans rate nurses as having high levels of honesty and ethics. Each day in every situation they are at the bedside treating patients with various illnesses and diseases including COVID-19 and providing emotional support.

Dr. Ruth Carrico, past president of the Kentucky Nurses Association (KNA) Board of Directors and an infectious disease nurse and researcher at University of Louisville Health said nurses who are treating severely ill patients in hospitals and ICUs for long shifts, get very discouraged and stressed when they see people out in the community not wearing masks or socially distancing.

“Wearing a mask won’t harm you,” Dr. Carrico said. “But if you go without one it may cause harm to others. You could be asymptomatic and spreading the virus to others. It doesn’t cost you anything to wear a mask. But if you don’t wear one, you could cause someone else severe illness or death.”

Delanor Manson, a nurse and Chief Executive Officer of KNA, said many nurses encounter difficulty removing visions of people dying as they try to sleep at night or when they’re at home with family and the feeling that fills them up that they cannot stop it from happening. 

“There are 88,000 nurses in Kentucky,” she said. “We need your help and we need it now. Please do all you can to stop the spread of the virus.”

Manson and Carrico advised the city of Louisville and its residents to support them in making a difference by following all the COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

“In order for every nurse to continue to do this and to be there for every patient, we need the community to be there for us,” Dr. Carrico said.

First Responder Data

Currently, 128 members of LMPD, Louisville Fire, Metro EMS, Metro Corrections and the Sheriff’s Office are off-duty due to COVID-19:

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

 

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

  • 398 positive tests
  • 336 have fully recovered and returned to duty

 

Metro Corrections inmate data:

 

Total Tested: 4,358

Total Positive: 275

Total Recovered: 263

Total currently under medical isolation: 12

Total tests pending: 0

# # #

 

To view the entire COVID-19 weekly update with Public Health officials click here. 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.louisville.gov/covid19. The LOU HEALTH COVID19 Helpline is also available: 502- 912-8598.

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