As COVID cases remain high and are scattered throughout Louisville Metro zip codes, the city’s top health officer is issuing a plea to the public.
During a briefing on Tuesday, Louisville Chief Health Strategist Dr. Sarah Moyer said COVID-19 testing numbers were down across the city. Moyer also reported Tuesday that there was more COVID-19 in the area than in November.
“We had a high of about 45,000 tests happening a week in November and only 22,000 last week,” Moyer said.
Moyer and other doctors have urged people to be tested for the virus for months on end. Now, she’s encouraging people to get tested once a week.
In a statement Thursday, Moyer said, while the vaccine has arrived and there is hope that comes with it, it will take months for everyone to get vaccinated.
“In the meantime, COVID-19 is still very present in our community. We continue to see a high case count, cases in every ZIP code, and last week was our third highest week on record for cases and deaths. Getting tested helps catch cases early and isolating at home stops the chain of transmission and protects our friends and family from getting sick,” she said.
Baptist Health Louisville Chief Medical Officer Dr. Chuck Anderson told WAVE 3 News getting tested weekly really depends on what you’re doing.
“If you’re going out without masking, social distancing, meeting new groups of people, then getting a rest could be beneficial,” Anderson said.
Moyer said those doing things like traveling, shopping in grocery or retail stores, eating at restaurants or bars, going to in-person church services, have children participating in sports, or attending gatherings where wearing masks and social distancing are difficult should get tested.
She also reiterated that those who were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID or those who are experiencing symptoms should also get tested.
Anderson said so many people are asymptomatic so it’s important to be careful.
“Now we have the new variant strain also,” he said. “It’s reported to be more infectious so it can spread between people even easier. And most of our testing is picking up that new variant. So, you might be exposed and not know about it and then get exposed even easier than the original virus.”
Anderson said he believes people need to keep doing the same practices of wearing masks and social distancing to prevent the new strain from spreading.
“Hopefully, what everyone is doing is still masking, still having social distancing, still having good hand washing,” he said. “Because that’s going to stop all of it. That’s going to stop the original virus, it’s going to stop the variations that we see.”
Labs are reportedly starting to randomly test for the new COVD variant to see if it is in Kentucky.
There are more than 21 different testing sites in Louisville. Testing results typically take 12 to 72 hours. For locations and hours of testing sites, click here.