‘Optimistic Sign that Vaccines Work’ as Covid Cases are lowest since April 2020
On Tuesday, Mayor Greg Fischer joined by Dr. Sarah Moyer, Louisville’s Chief Health Strategist, provided an update on COVID-19 and reflected on the past year as the city’s COVID cases continue their downward trend.
With Governor Andy Beshear set to fully lift capacity restrictions and the mask mandate, the Mayor said he was excited about what Louisville has accomplished considering what the city has endured in the last 15 months. He said the onus is now on everybody to get vaccinated to prevent a surge in cases.
“There was a lot of economic pain, trauma and mental health concerns that came out of this,” Mayor Fischer said. “We’ve lost over 1,300 of our fellow Louisvillians to this pandemic. If there’s anything we learned about this pandemic, it’s that it is lurking and waiting for us to drop our guard.”
Here are the key COVID-19 data metrics for the week of June 7, 2021:
- There were 191 new cases over the previous week, 78 new deaths were reported. A majority of these occurred previously and were added through a state audit. Less than 20 deaths reported in the last month, all unvaccinated.
- Hospitalization data:
- 55 patients currently hospitalized have COVID-19, compared to 63 last week.
- 22 patients in ICU with COVID-19 as of June 8, compared to 27 the week prior
- 12 COVID-19 patients on ventilators as of June 8, compared to 18 last week.
- All hospitalized patients are unvaccinated.
- 769,454 total vaccine doses given in Metro Louisville since December.
- 51.9% of Louisville residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 41.3% have completed the vaccine series.
Dr. Moyer said that Louisville hit its lowest count of COVID-19 cases since April 2020, more evidence she said that vaccines work to slow the spread of the virus. But individuals that are unvaccinated should continue to follow the safety measures by limiting contact with others, wearing a mask when they go out, and get regular screening tests.
“A return to full capacity will raise the risk of exposure to those not vaccinated yet,” she said. “For those individuals I hope the lift on restrictions and mandates serves as extra motivation to get vaccinated.
Individuals can call the LOU Health COVID-19 Helpline at (502)-912-8598 to get help with scheduling an appointment and/or for help arranging free transportation to their appointment. Ride requests for transportation must be made at least 24 hours prior to the appointment. The transportation is to and from the appointment. Drivers will wait until the patient returns from the vaccine appointment and drive them back to their end destination. Additional stops will not be permitted. Accommodations are available to those who require service animals and/or wheelchairs.
They can also visit Vaccines.gov to find providers near them or text their zip code to GETVAX (438829) for English or VACUNA (822862) for Spanish.
YMCA Joins Louisville in June National Month of Action
President Biden announced June as National Month of Action ,a mobilization effort to get as many Americans a first dose of vaccination by the Fourth of July. Throughout the month, national organizations, local government leaders and many other partners will work to make access to vaccinations easier. The initiatives include pharmacy partners extending hours on Fridays to offer flexible appointment availability and more than 500 YMCAs across the country providing free drop-in appointments to parents and caregivers who need support.
Jennifer Flower, Marketing and Communications Director for the YMCA of Greater Louisville, said the organization will provide up to two hours of free care for children from 6 weeks of age to 12 years old during the Kids’ Club’s operating hours, which vary by location. Complete details, including locations and hours, can be found online, or by calling (502) -587-9622. Flower said reservations are not required, but there is a check-in process where individuals will need to provide a photo I.D.
“For more than 165 years, the YMCA of Greater Louisville has focused on community health, and we are proud to partner in this effort to support COVID-19 vaccinations,” said Flower. “The Y is committed to equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine, and we are pleased to join with YMCA’s across the country in offering free, drop-in child care during vaccine appointments. We believe this is an important step to reducing barriers and increasing access to vaccination.”
Health Experts Reflect on the Impact of COVID
On Tuesday, public health experts shared their reflections on the pandemic’s effect on Louisville and the strides made to educate as many people as possible to protect the public health and safety of the community.
Delanor Manson, Chief Executive Officer of the Kentucky Nurses Association, said nurses have been around since 1906. While it isn’t the first pandemic that nurses have responded to, she said the last 15 months have been frustrating and scary for many in the profession because it was uncharted territory that brought forth new challenges. She said those challenges included both personal and professional relationships.
“We were concerned whether we would be taking the disease home to our families while caring for other families,” Manson said. “It was challenging to have so many patients to take care of. As nurses, we’re not used to taking care of 10 to 20 patients at a time. There weren’t enough nurses. Also, the mental health aspect, as patients continued to die, and we couldn’t save them all was the biggest challenge.”
Despite this, Manson said nurses, as they always do, rose to the challenge coming out of retirement to helping in mobile clinics, testing centers and mass vaccination sites. As Covid cases trickle down and the community gears up for looser restrictions, Manson provided one message to residents: Stay vigilant.
“We can still get Covid,” she said. “As nurses, we’d like to have no Covid patients in the hospital. No Covid patients in the ICU. No Covid patients at home sick. One of the ways we can do that is to get vaccinated. With nurses being the most trusted profession in the world, we have to stay vigilant, answer questions and encourage people to ask us the questions. Education is part of what we do. It’s part of the nurse’s role. Give us the opportunity to answer the questions so that you will get enough information about the vaccine, which is to get the vaccine.”
First Responder Data
Currently, nine members of LMPD, Louisville Fire, Metro EMS, Metro Corrections and the Sheriff’s Office are off-duty due to COVID-19:
- 5 are off with positive tests and in self-isolation
- 1 is off and quarantined due to exposure to someone who tested positive
- 3 are off with symptoms, pending test results
Positive test numbers for first responders/public safety since the incident began:
- 570 positive tests
- 565 have fully recovered and returned to duty
Metro Corrections inmate data:
Total Tested: 8,252
Total Positive: 435
Total Recovered: 434
Total currently under medical isolation: 1
Total tests pending: 0
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View this week’s COVID-19 briefing with city officials here. The 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