Louisville’s COVID positivity rate reaches record high of 27%

Last week, Metro Public Health and Wellness confirmed more than 10,150 had tested positive for COVID in the county alone.
Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 2:21 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 4, 2022 at 2:31 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - More than one in four people being tested for the coronavirus in Louisville are coming back positive due to omicron, the most contagious variant of the virus yet. Louisville’s positivity rate now stands at 27 percent.

Last week, Metro Public Health and Wellness confirmed more than 10,150 had tested positive for COVID in Jefferson County alone. It was a sharp increase from the week prior, which only saw around 3,200 positive cases.

As Metro Public Health Director Sarah Moyer predicts, things will get worse before they get better.

“Cases continue to skyrocket and that is worrisome,” Moyer said. “We’re not trying to instill fear, but I do want people to be realistic. At this rate, it’s very likely that our hospitals are going to be in crisis mode, meaning beyond capacity, very soon.”

Currently, Moyer said there are 323 people in hospitals across Louisville; 11.5 percent of those patients are COVID-19 positive.

“A majority of our hospitalizations and ICU cases are in the unvaccinated,” Moyer said.

Moyer said that with an increasing number of cases comes an increase demand for tests and treatments, so wait times for either can be days. She said those exposed to the virus should wait four to five days before being tested.

In terms of treatment, the wait for monoclonal antibody treatments is also lengthy due to the large number of people who are ill, as well as the fact that only one of those treatments works against omicron, according to Norton Healthcare’s Dr. Monalisa Tailor.

“There are so many people who are getting sick and unfortunately our supply is very limited,” Tailor said. “Against the omicron variant, we only have one monoclonal antibody that does seem to be more helpful against this particular version of the virus.”

Antiviral pills from Pfizer and Merck are not yet available in Louisville, but they are on their way.

The spread could slow, but it is dependent on people’s precautions.

“It all depends on what we all do in the next coming weeks,” she said. “If we can slow down our movement and our actions, that peak’s going to take longer to get to and longer to get out of, but it will keep our case counts not going up so high. If we keep doing what we’ve always been doing, the numbers are going to keep going up really quickly and probably back down in three to four weeks.”

Tailor warned Louisville health officials have reported a significant increase in flu cases as well: “The flu is definitely back.”

To see COVID-19′s spread in Louisville, click or tap here.

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