Public Health officials caution city is seeing ‘exponential increase’ in COVID-19 Cases; everyone is at risk

November 4, 2020

Mayor Greg Fischer and Public Health and Wellness Director Dr. Sarah Moyer reminded residents today that case counts in Louisville are increasing exponentially in every ZIP code, putting everyone at risk.

Since the start of October, Louisville’s daily incidence rate has nearly doubled from 25 cases per 100,000 population to 43 as of today.

Dr. Moyer praised the efforts of residents taking action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community but urged caution that individual measures are no longer enough to curb the spread of infection in Louisville.

“The individual actions are extremely important, and we encourage everyone to continue doing them. But with the spread that we are experiencing we need to look beyond individual behaviors and start to change activities that restrict mobility.”

To that end, she said, “I am calling on business owners, non-profit, civic and religious, and community leaders to help us lead by example: cancel in person events, have people telework if possible and put a pause on in person meals, meetings and conferences. We all face a common threat – COVID-19 and choosing to take these actions now will save lives in our community.”

Mayor Fischer said the city’s No. 1 priority is safety for its residents.

“Keeping ourselves and each other safe is our goal every day during this pandemic,” said Mayor Fischer. “We can stop the spread of this virus. But it requires all of us.

Here are the key data metrics for the week of November 3, 2020:

  • There were a record 2,325 new cases over the previous week. This eclipsed the highest number of cases Louisville has reported since the pandemic began. Our total case count is at 25,813.
  • Louisville’s rolling two-week average positivity rate is at 6.8 percent.

Hospitalization Data:

  • 14.7% of patients currently hospitalized have COVID-19. That is more than 3.5 times the number seen in early October.
  • 58 patients in ICU with COVID-19 as of November 3, an increase from 42 the week prior.
  • 34 COVID-19 patients on ventilators as of November 3, compared to 22 last week.
  • COVID-19 cases are in every Louisville ZIP code with nearly all at the red alert level.
  • There continues to be a higher rate of positive COVID cases in west and south Louisville among Black and Latino communities, yet over the last month, the biggest increase in case counts in Louisville occurred among white populations.
  • The largest increase in cases is in those ages of 15 to 34.

The largest sources of spread of the virus are household contacts, as well as from gatherings like weddings and, funerals, as well as gyms and restaurants. Dr. Moyer voiced concern about the impact the surge in cases will potentially bring to Louisville’s health care system.

“If we don’t start being more aggressive, our hospitals will be over capacity in the next two to three weeks,” Dr. Moyer said.

 

New Contact Tracing Data

Karen Handmaker, a population health expert who is overseeing the city’s contact tracing and COVID-19 Helpline efforts, revealed new data regarding trends in COVID-19 spread.

Handmaker stated that a significant portion of people admit to traveling out of town, which indicates they may be contributing to the transmission of the virus in and out of the city.

Workplaces, schools, daycares, healthcare settings, grocery stores, parties and restaurants also rank high in terms of where people say they commuted to while in their infectious period before getting tested, which is why the Red Zone recommendations encourage everyone to stay home as much as possible.

According to Handmaker, the contact tracing team is working against time. She emphasized that contact tracing cannot begin until after a positive test result is received in the state’s Contact Tracing and Tracking system (CTT), which takes on average about five days from when an individual has their test taken.

Handmaker said further action on getting test results into CTT is out of the team’s control and said the best thing is for everyone who tests positive to call the COVID-19 Helpline at 502-912-8598 as soon as they receive their test result to initiate the contact tracing process as quickly as possible. The Helpline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“If you wait for us to call you, you are missing opportunities to keep you and your family safe and to minimize the spread of the virus to people you know as well as others in the community.”

 

First Responder Data

Currently, 84 members of LMPD, Louisville Fire, Metro EMS, Metro Corrections and the Sheriff’s Office are off-duty due to COVID-19:

  • 40 are off with positive tests and in self-isolation
  • 47 are off and quarantined due to exposure to someone who tested positive
  • 37 are off with symptoms, pending test results

 

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

  • 283 positive tests
  • 244 have fully recovered and returned to duty

 

Metro Corrections Data:

Total Tested = 3932

Total Positive = 238

Total Recovered = 234

Total currently under medical isolation = 4

Total pending = 21

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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 COVID19 Helpline is also available: 502- 912-8598.