Louisville reports 5 cases of COVID Delta variant, numbers level out from week to week

Health experts shift focus on the contagious variant, especially for the city’s minority neighborhoods where vaccination rates are low.
Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 2:25 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 6, 2021 at 3:40 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - COVID-19 is spreading in Louisville, but it’s almost exclusively among unvaccinated people.

During the city’s bi-weekly update Tuesday, Louisville health experts shifted focus toward the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus and the effect it could have on unvaccinated parts of the city.

COVID cases have leveled out in Louisville. Ultimately, the rise from the most recent week is insignificant.

However, there are now five reports of the Delta variant of the virus in the city. Health experts said that’s only an issue if residents don’t keep getting vaccinated.

“[The variant] is not one that has alluded the protection provided by the vaccine,” Dr. Paul McKinney of UofL’s School of Public Health said, “so it is still one we can control.”

McKinney said the Delta variant is of high concern, but low consequence, adding it could be a moot point if you’re vaccinated.

Other health experts said vaccinations could also help stop variants in their tracks.

“Not only does it protect the individuals from severe or critical illness,” Dr. Kevin Sokoloski from UofL’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology said, “but it also reduces the likelihood of further emergence or further genetic variation.”

Another threat the Delta variant poses is to certain minority neighborhoods where vaccination rates are lower.

Metro Health and Wellness says the Delta virus was first found in central Louisville and has displayed radial spread since then.

If and when it gets to unvaccinated areas, there’s concern for what’s going to happen.

“We need to find a better way to get the messaging out from people that they trust,” Ann Hagan-Grigsby of the Park Duvalle Community Health Center said. “It’s very challenging.”

You can see how vaccination rates compare in each Louisville zip code here.

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