Expert: COVID-19 testing is up, but not sole reason for increased Louisville cases

Expert: COVID-19 testing is up, but not sole reason for increased Louisville cases

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - With coronavirus cases in Kentucky on the rise this week, many are asking whether more testing is the culprit behind the increased COVID-19 count.

Dr. James Frazier, the Vice President of Medical Affairs for Norton Healthcare, said there’s more to it than that when looking at what the Louisville-based healthcare system is experiencing.

"We're seeing more tests that are positive, but we're also seeing a higher percentage of those that are tested that are positive," Frazier said.

As the fight against novel coronavirus COVID-19 began, experts say tracing who is infected and who they have possibly infected must be done quickly and thoroughly.
As the fight against novel coronavirus COVID-19 began, experts say tracing who is infected and who they have possibly infected must be done quickly and thoroughly. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

Frazier said Tuesday and Wednesday Norton had tested around 900 people a day, most via drive-thru testing. Those daily stats are up from testing in early July of around 400 to 500 people per day. Frazier noted that could partially be due to the holiday weekend, but even with that accounted for he has noticed an increase. Frazier said a higher percentage of people being tested now are getting COVID-19 positive results.

"[In the] last couple of days, we're seeing closer to 7 percent of people be positive now," he said. "So, that's up pretty significantly from 2 to 3 percent."

Frazier states 90 percent of positive tests now are showing up in people under 40.

Norton Healthcare says a higher percentage of people being tested now are getting COVID-19 positive results and that 90 percent of positive tests now are showing up in people under 40.
Norton Healthcare says a higher percentage of people being tested now are getting COVID-19 positive results and that 90 percent of positive tests now are showing up in people under 40. (Source: Mike Fussell, WAVE 3 News)
COVID-19 numbers are on the rise and officials say it's due to community spread.
COVID-19 numbers are on the rise and officials say it's due to community spread. (Source: cdc)

“We are seeing a significant increase in some of the children,” he said. “Fortunately, for us, we’re not seeing an increase in the number of people who are hospitalized or the number of people that are in the ICU.”

Fraizer adds data is also telling a story about the prevalence of the virus among asymptomatic people.

“If we’re testing everybody, we’re seeing less than one percent that are positive,” he said. “If that includes antibodies, maybe a little bit higher, two percent, maybe in antibodies. So, randomly selecting people without symptoms and just testing in the community. Really, we’re not finding the disease that prevalent, compared to what we thought we’d might of seen earlier in the disease process.”

Fraizer does add though, if someone has symptoms, has been exposed to the virus, or has been in a high-risk situation, they should get tested.

Learn more about Norton Testing here and other testing opportunities statewide here.

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