Jefferson County officials say the recent spike in COVID-19 cases is still due to the highly transmissible delta variant, but say they remain vigilant for signs of the new strain of omicron.
There were 2,211 new cases reported in the province last week — nearly double the previous week’s report. Hospital admissions have also risen; approximately 11% of all hospital admissions in the province are COVID-related.
“Clearly, we’re far from finished with COVID,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer at a weekly briefing Tuesday. He said even with no ommicron in the area, coronavirus numbers are rising “at an alarming rate.”
The county’s positivity rate now stands at 9.24%, with an incidence of 41 new cases per 100,000 population. That’s 16 percentage points above the county’s threshold to be considered in the red zone for spreading the disease.
And while the number of vaccinations has risen — 72% of adults in Kentucky have received at least their first dose, and 65% have been fully vaccinated — Fischer said the pace is too slow. The mayor continued to urge more people to be vaccinated and encouraged.
“Every vaccine type available to us has now been administered to hundreds of millions of people for almost a year and the data is very clear with respect to science,” he said. “They are very safe and very effective at stopping serious diseases.”
Fischer’s comments echoed what government leader Andy Beshear reported Monday — that the rise in cases is due in part to the decline in initial vaccinations, as well as people going out in public and attending social gatherings at an almost pre-season. pandemic level.
Fischer was joined on Tuesday by Drs. Sarah Moyer, SaraBeth Hartlage, and Mark Burns of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness.
The team said there is still evidence that initial vaccines and boosters help reduce serious illness. As of Monday, 81.5% of total cases since March 2020 have been in unvaccinated people.
The team said breakthrough cases are much more common in older adults or those with serious underlying health conditions.
Jefferson County has also seen a sharp rise in flu cases, following a low last year when more people stayed at home in the midst of the pandemic.
There were 184 confirmed flu cases statewide and 19 in Jefferson County for the 2020-2021 season, which ended in May. 58 have already been confirmed in Jefferson County and 98 in Kentucky this year. For the 2019-2020 season, 8,000 were reported.