Causes for declining COVID cases, deaths could be numerous

Norton doctor urges public to 'push forward' with COVID protocols as virus numbers drop

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A potentially changing tide in the fight against coronavirus can be seen in the statistics used to track the disease.

Cases and positivity rates are down in Indiana and Kentucky over the last two months. Deaths are also down but remain a concern for those on the frontlines of the outbreak.

“One death, obviously, is too many when it’s your loved one,” Norton Healthcare Vice President for Medical Affairs Dr. James Frazier said. “Certainty, I understand that for sure. When you look at the overall number of deaths that we’re seeing, I do feel like we’re seeing a decline in that, but we continue just to push forward.”

It’s all happening as vaccines effective at fighting off hospitalizations are approved, and their rollouts continue.

Kentucky reached Phase 1C on March 1.

“I’m just really excited that we’re here this soon,” Frazier said. “I mean, if you were to ask me in the beginning of January when I thought I’d be here, I would have said probably summertime.”

Frazier added nobody knows for sure what is causing coronavirus cases to decline, but a lot of factors are likely in play.

Testing at Norton Healthcare is down to about half of what it was when it peaked last year.

Precautions, less holiday gatherings, some schools remaining remote and the number of people who are already infected are just a few of the variables Frazier said could be impacting numbers.

The seasonality of the coronavirus and how people act when the weather warms up is another possible cause.

“Clearly, as people were outside, we weren’t on top of each other inside having meetings or events, we just saw a sharp decline in the number of cases,” Fraizer said, commenting on summer 2020.

Vaccination efforts continue to bring good news, too.

“So, as we continue to see an increase in vaccines, it’s upbeat, very positive for the community,” he said. “That being said there are still a lot of unknowns about these variants.”

Testing at Norton Healthcare is down to about half of what it was when COVID-19 peaked last year.

Frazier said it’s important to keep practicing social distancing and wearing masks until herd immunity is reached.

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