Mayor Fischer, health officials, announce COVID-19 vaccine distribution task force members
Norton Healthcare to assist vaccine efforts with 3,000 daily vaccinations
During today’s COVID19 weekly update, Mayor Greg Fischer joined Dr. Sarah Moyer, Chief Health Strategist, and other health officials to announce members of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force.
“While we still have to keep up our defensive strategy of mask-wearing, social distancing, and aggressive testing,” said Mayor Fischer. “It feels like we’ve turned a corner with the vaccine’s arrival. We’re now on offense, working quickly to deploy the vaccine and get us back to doing the things we loved before this pandemic hit us.”
Co-chaired by Dr. SarahBeth Hartlage, associate medical director with the health department and William Altman, executive consultant for the city, the task force includes representatives from Louisville’s hospital systems, local health centers, pharmacies, medical advisors and other community partners.
The task force’s approach is to bring healthcare leaders and major healthcare organizations in Louisville that can ensure the safe and equitable distribution of the vaccine throughout the community. It will also emphasize and ensure accurate and timely sharing of education and information on the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Our main priority is to prevent severe illness and disease from COVID-19,” Dr. Hartlage said, speaking to Louisville’s capacity to effectively store and distribute doses of the vaccine. “We have the ability to give injections, and we want to reach all corners of our community. Our first focus, as mandated by federal and state government, is on first responders, healthcare workers and other medical personnel that will be at the forefront of helping others in our city.”
“It is going to take an all hands-on deck approach to get this done,” Altman said, speaking to the planning and distribution process of the COVID-19 vaccine. “Our approach is to build the infrastructure to get everyone to step up to the table and be part of this community-wide vaccination solution so that we’re never in a position where there are more vaccines than our ability to deliver them.”
Members of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force include:
William Altman, Consultant Louisville Department of Public Health and Wellness (LMPHW)
SarahBeth Hartlage, MD, Associate Medical Director, LMPHW
Steve Hester, MD, Chief Medical and Operating Officer, Norton Health
Jason Smith, MD, Chief Medical Officer, University of Louisville Health
Chuck Anderson, MD, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Baptist Health
Community Health Centers, Primary Care Physicians, and Nurses
Primary Care Association, Bill Wagner, Board Chair and CEO, Family Health Centers
Greater Louisville Medical Society, Board Representative, Pat Purcell, MD
Kentucky Nurses Association, Delanor Manson, MA, BSN, RN, CEO
Employer, Insurer, and other Business/Healthcare Groups
Kentucky Health Collaborative, Randa Deaton, Board Chair
Greater Louisville, Inc., Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, CEO
CVS, Kevin Kearney, Regional Director of Operations
Walgreens Lauren Adams, PharmD, Regional Healthcare Supervisor
Walmart Nemesh Shah, PharmD., Regional Director, Health and Wellness
Kroger Pheli Roberts, RPh, Pharm D., Division Health and Wellness Leader
Ruth Carrico, PhD DNP APRN CIC FSHEA FNAP, Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Louisville School of Medicine
Paul McKinney, M.D., Professor and Associate Dean, University School of Public Health and Information Sciences
Jon Klein, MD, Ph.D., FASN, James Graham Brown Foundation Chair in Proteomics, Vice Dean for Research, University of Louisville School of Medicine
Mark Burns, MD, Infectious Disease Physician, Assistant Professor, University of Louisville School of Medicine
Val Briones-Prior, MD, Primary Care and Internal Medicine, U of L Physicians, Louisville Board of Health member
Broadbent Arena Vaccination Launch
Following Monday’s mass vaccination launch at Broadbent Arena, the health department reported that 150 vaccinations were administered to tier 1A personnel, which includes healthcare workers, medical first responders and other healthcare workers not attached to a hospital system.
Dr. SarahBeth Hartlage reported the first day went so smoothly that the health department is doubling its scheduled appointments from 200 to 400 today.
The Broadbent arena site is only vaccinating individuals in the tier 1A group of phased allocation, which includes an estimated 40,000 healthcare workers outside of the Norton, Baptist Health and University of Louisville hospital systems, said Dr. Hartlage.
“These are not just doctors and nurses, but dentists, funeral home staff, physical therapists, in-home care specialists and many other groups,” she said. “We hope to complete that group of people prior to the end of the month before moving into tier 1B which is our critical infrastructure group.”
Here are the key COVID-19 data metrics for the week of January 5, 2021:
- There were 2,991 new cases over the previous week.
- Hospitalization data:
- 18.6% of patients currently hospitalized have COVID-19.
- 85 patients in ICU with COVID-19 as of January 5, a decrease from 90 the week prior.
- 60 COVID-19 patients on ventilators as of January 5, compared to 58 last week.
- COVID-19 cases are in every ZIP code and each of them is in the red.
- 20-44-year-old demographic accounts for the majority of cases at 42%
- COVID-19 cases continue to impact our African American and Latinx communities at disproportionate rates. The health department will continue to provide and promote resources to include information and education for residents needing to quarantine and increase testing capacity.
- With high-level community spread, interactions with individuals outside the household put residents at a greater risk of bringing an infection home. Once a member of the household is infected, it is likely to spread to others.
COVID-19 spread in Louisville is back on the rise following the decrease in case counts of the virus the past couple of weeks.
Dr. Moyer stated that while the decrease in positive cases previously demonstrated that residents took the governor’s restrictions seriously, the upward trend currently, though unfortunate, was expected due to anticipated holiday gatherings and travel.
Dr. Moyer remained hopeful that public health officials, the city and its residents can get back to turning the tide as COVID-19 vaccinations are administered to healthcare workers, medical first responders and others as allocation continues.
“Thankfully our hospitalizations are at a plateau,” she said. “I know our healthcare workers are tired but very excited about the vaccine.”
Dr. Moyer also stressed we all need to continue to stay strong, follow what works to help stop the spread of COVID-19: wearing masks, social distancing, washing your hands and staying home as much as possible.
Norton Healthcare assists in vaccine efforts
Dr. Steve Hester, Chief Medical Officer at Norton Healthcare and a member of the city’s Vaccine Distribution Task Force, reported that the hospital is moving through its vaccination process for employees very well.
To date, Norton Hospital has administered 7,000 vaccines with an expectation to finish 11,000 in total by the week’s end.
Dr. Hester announced Norton Healthcare is willing to vaccinate an additional 3,000 individuals in the tier 1A phased allocation group, which will help the city get them vaccinated quicker and ready to move on to the next tier.
“We are going to continue that process and move those numbers forward,” he said. “If there’s more vaccine available, we’re willing to scale up to whatever it is we can do to get this community vaccinated. That’s going to be the biggest part of helping us move through this horrible pandemic and getting back to doing the things we all love so much.”
First Responder Data
Currently, 75 members of LMPD, Louisville Fire, Metro EMS, Metro Corrections and the Sheriff’s Office are off-duty due to COVID-19:
- 34 are off with positive tests and in self-isolation
- 28 are off and quarantined due to exposure to someone who tested positive
- 13 are off with symptoms, pending test results
Positive test numbers for first responders/public safety since the incident began:
- 458 positive tests
- 424 have fully recovered and returned to duty
Metro Corrections inmate data:
Total Tested: 5,021
Total Positive: 291
Total Recovered: 282
Total currently under medical isolation: 9
Total tests pending: 0
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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 COVID-19 Helpline is also available: 502-912-8598