LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer on Thursday provided an update on Jefferson County’s coronavirus crisis.
Fischer said there have been a total of 4,378 positive tests and 219 deaths from the virus that has killed more than 130,000 Americans and 550,000 people worldwide.
The mayor once again urged the importance of protecting yourself, and by doing so, you’re protecting the community.
“What is working is social distancing, face masks and washing your hands frequently,” he said. “If you’re in a public space, please wear a face covering. It isn’t asking too much. When we wear that mask, we protect the community. No one should be in denial about this virus now.”
Fischer said a total of 53,459 Jefferson County residents have been tested, adding that 3,192 have recovered. Currently, 69 people are hospitalized and 14 are in an ICU, being treated for the coronavirus.
The mayor also said that Wednesday, there were nine new positive tests at the LMPD Training Academy. A total of 64 first responders have been diagnosed, 49 of whom have returned to work. The other 15 are still recovering.
Among the LMPD Command Staff, eight people have been tested; one test has returned positive, and another is pending.
At LMDC, 1,831 inmates have been tested throughout the crisis, and 12 have tested positive.
Fischer said positives aren’t going up as rapidly as they are in hot spots like Florida and Arizona, but if they do, he said he’s prepared to roll back reopenings and require masks.
“I know people want to be over with COVID,” Fischer said. “I hear that all the time. I’m so over COVID, they say, but it’s not over with us. We don’t know when the vaccine is going to come.”
Public health leaders said decisions about reopening will be based on statistics like hospitalizations, ICU usage and the number of those on ventilators and deaths.
Right now, Metro Public Health and Wellness Dr. Sarah Moyer said capacity is in good shape, but she urged people to keep washing their hands, wearing masks and social distancing.
"It feels like March again," Moyer said. "Cases are rising, we're hearing about corona parties, people are traveling again and I am telling everyone to wash their hands."
Health officials said citywide, the rate of people testing positive has remained flat, despite individual hospital systems seeing increases.
Moyer said positive cases are being driven by household contacts and travel. She added that work transmission is going up. When it comes to demographics, the health department said the virus is now infecting those ages 20-44, and white people, at an increasing rate.
Moyer said deaths among black people are still disproportionately high.
Metro inspectors said they visited 86 bars and restaurants last weekend, and issued 11 orders of correction.
Moyer said Louisville is no longer asking everyone to get a test.
“We’re seeing places like Arizona and Florida, where they are running out of testing supplies, where they’re having so many cases and can’t test everyone with symptoms,” she said. “So, (we’re) trying to make sure we have that supply available, if we get to a surge like that.”
Moyer said those with symptoms, people in contact with those who have the virus, and others in confined places like jails and nursing homes are who should get tested.