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Louisville Officials Return To Weekly COVID Updates As Cases Climb

Microscopic images of the virus. Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, the virus causes respiratory infections which are typically mild but, in rare cases, can be lethal.
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Microscopic images of the virus. Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, the virus causes respiratory infections which are typically mild but, in rare cases, can be lethal.

Officials said Tuesday that city data confirm Louisville is at “critical level” for COVID-19 spread, something state data showed last week. The state updates its numbers daily while the city updates weekly. 

At a news conference on Tuesday, health experts and Mayor Greg Fischer gave an update on the virus in Louisville. In response to the surge of new cases, officials will return to weekly press briefings instead of biweekly briefings on the virus.

“We’re at over 87,000 cases in Metro Louisville, we added 1,916 cases last week,” said Connie Mendel, assistant director of Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. “That is the highest one week gain since February.” 

The overwhelming majority of new cases are among the unvaccinated. Unvaccinated populations also make up a majority of COVID hospitalizations and deaths. 

People ages 20-44 years old make up the group with the highest number of new cases, followed by people between 0-19 years old, said Mendel.

Children under age 12 are unable to get the COVID vaccine as approval for its use on that age group has not yet been given.  

Dr. Jon Klein, vice dean of research at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, believes that people who are still vaccine hesitant are more likely to change their minds if they are able to get their questions answered by someone they trust. 

“If someone who’s a trusted caregiver answers those questions, frequently, they will go and get vaccinated,” said Klein. 

As far as where people are contracting the virus, Mendel said that contact tracing shows most cases are reported following travel within the United States or from social gatherings. 

Health officials continue to recommend universal masking and vaccines as the best ways to protect against the virus — including the more contagious delta variant — and slow the spread.

Louisville’s COVID-19 dashboard provides updates on cases and vaccination numbers. Resources about testing and vaccinations can be found on the Louisville COVID-19 Resource Center page.

Breya Jones is the Breaking News Reporter for LPM. Email Breya at bjones@lpm.org.