COVID cases again on the rise in Louisville Metro as new variant emerges

COVID cases again on the rise in Louisville Metro as new variant emerges
Published: Aug. 29, 2023 at 9:16 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As predicted, COVID-19 is not going away, it just keeps changing.

Right now, a new dominant variant is sending more people to the hospital nationally and in Louisville Metro.

“We call it the EG5, or better known as the Eris variant,” UofL infectious disease specialist Dr. Mark Burns said. “There’s also another one that’s right behind that. It’s called the FL 1.5.1.”

New hospital admissions of patients with COVID-19 totaled 44 the week prior to Aug 19. That was a 10% increase according to numbers posted by Louisville COVID-19 Resource Center.

The variants have doctors suggesting patients wait on getting the vaccine that is available right now.

“If you get a COVID booster at this moment, it’s not going to be as sensitive to the current versions of the virus that are floating around,” Norton primary care physician Dr. Monalisa Tailor said. “I would actually recommend waiting for the new booster. ”

That new booster is expected to be out mid to late Sept.

In the meantime, precautions are also recommended if people are planning to celebrate Labor Day in a group.

“If you’re going to be gathering with a lot of people, I would definitely recommend testing yourself before the event and after the event,” Dr. Tailor said. “Especially if you’re not feeling well. If you’re going to something like a soccer game and you’re kind of spread out, you’re going to WorldFest, and you’re spread out in terms of the population you’re hanging out with, that risk is probably a little bit less.”