Health experts warn of post-holidays COVID-19 spike

Health experts warn of post-holidays COVID-19 spike
Experts said testing is a key component in fighting a post-holiday surge in COVID-19 cases. (Source: WKYT)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - December has been a record month for COVID-19 in Kentucky. Health experts warn the case count will only get higher after the holidays.

“We spent much of December preparing for the Christmas rush and it has come and it has been easily three or four times what we ever thought,” said Dr. Luke Murray with WildHealth.

Testing for the virus increased substantially ahead of Christmas, but Dr. Murray says a negative test in the past couple of weeks does not mean you’re completely in the clear.

“We expect to see significant spikes after Christmas and after New Year’s Eve,” he said.

Dr. Murray said testing will help get a better idea of how quickly the virus spread over the holidays. He said people experiencing symptoms and people who traveled are not the only ones who should get swabbed.

“But if you’re going across town to hang out 10 or 15 people, I wouldn’t call that traveling,” Dr. Murray saud. “But you are going to be around large groups of people so anytime that you would be exposed to multiple people, I would say you need to get tested both before you go in case you happen to be positive. Also two or three days after any gathering.”

Dr. Murray said testing is widely available in the Commonwealth right now. The WildHealth team, which is handling COVID-19 testing at Kroger Field right now, is prepared for a surge of cars. They have increased their hours and added more lines. Dr.Murray said the process can go by faster if people schedule an appointment a day or two early.

“We have a lot of people to make appointments on the same day,” He said. “So we use appointments to judge how many folks we need. But we had three or four times that a number of people making appointment the same day and that really causes some problems because again we just staff for the number of appointments we have.”

Kentucky’s total number of COVID-19 cases stands at 255,563. 2,534 Kentuckians have died from the virus.

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