LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Louisville is in the red for COVID-19 for the second straight week.
Last week, Louisville reported 2,869 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Louisville has reported more than 2,000 cases each week since early May.
Jefferson County’s COVID-19 incidence rate climbed slightly this week, up to 43.8 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents based on a seven-day rolling average as of Monday. That rate was 42.8 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents on a seven-day average on July 18.
Emily Kunkel, director of Marketing for Craft Culture Concepts, which owns Parlour Pizza and Napa River Grill, said the recent surge of COVID-19 cases is causing frustration.
“So from a hospitality perspective, it’s disappointing because we were impacted the most, but I’m not surprised,” Kunkel said. “I interact with probably hundreds of people a day, if not more.”
For Kunkel, getting vaccinated was a priority and the beginning to the end.
“It gave me a sense of feeling free again that I wouldn’t have to worry about just like the flu shot,” Kunkel said.
Health officials say the latest spike in COVID-19 cases is being driven by two omicron subvariants, the BA.4 and BA.5, according to the CDC. Those two subvariants represent more than 80% of cases in the U.S.
Neither vaccination or prior infection guarantee protection from the highly contagious subvariants. Health officials are seeing more hospitalizations, but fewer people are ending up the ICU.
Dr. Joseph Flynn, the Chief Administrative Officer for Norton Medical Group, believes there are even more cases in Louisville than what’s being reported.
“People are home testing or they’re not testing at all,” Flynn said. “They’re seeing a little congestion and saying, ‘I’m going to move on.”
Nationally, the Biden administration says there are plans to roll out an updated booster shot in September that will specifically target the omicron variant. Flynn said people over 50 years old should go ahead and get a second booster shot.
“Now that it is available and we’re seeing another spike of a very contagious subvariant, I’d say that is what I would recommend,” Flynn said.
The COVID-19 vaccine protects against severe disease, hospitalization and death, according to the CDC.
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