Jefferson County nutritionists reported some of the highest COVID-19 numbers because the start of the pandemic Wednesday – and they said the brand new omicron variant is a huge driver within the quick spread.
During a unique media briefing, Dr. SaraBeth Hartlage, associate director in the Louisville Metro Department for Public Overall health, said the positivity rate has nearly doubled compared to a week ago.
The rate is now in a record high of 19.49%. The other day, it was 11.5%. And the incidence rate of over 101 new cases per 100,000 residents is also greater than ever. That's many times greater than the rate of 25 cases per 100,000 people that would put Louisville in the \”red\” zone, which is the highest level of spread.
\”And an important note about high positivity rate is that whenever it climbs very high like the 20% we're seeing right now, what that implies is that there are plenty of positives available who are still not being tested,\” she said.
The 1,742 new cases reported Wednesday are more than triple the roughly 500 cases each day that had been reported in recent weeks.
Gov. Andy Beshear also reported a steep statewide increase Wednesday, with 5,530 new cases and 21 deaths. The positivity rate is now 14.46%.
\”If you've any symptoms, just assume that you're a positive test for at this time,\” Hartlage said. \”If you've got a a sore throat, respiratory symptoms like cough, difficulty breathing, headache – really just about anything – should you awaken feeling poorly, the safest thing is to assume you've got a positive.\”
She and other health officials said that anybody who feels sick should get tested and quarantine. When around others or in public, they recommended wearing a high-filtration mask as an N95, social distancing and washing hands often.
They also still urge vaccinations and boosters, which will help lessen the risk for severe illness.
To find a testing or vaccination site, visit Louisville's COVID-19 resource page.
This story continues to be edited to fix the COVID-19 positivity rate in Jefferson County; it had been 19.49% Wednesday.