LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After nearly two years since the first positive COVID-19 cases were reported in Kentucky and Indiana, and just weeks after one of the biggest spikes, case numbers are consistently trending downward.
The graph below represents weekly positive COVID cases reported in Kentucky from December to February 10th.
The week ending on December 2nd, there were 12,230 cases. Cases spiked after Christmas, and more than 85,000 positive cases were reported during the week ending on January 27th. Since then, cases have gone down significantly. They aren’t as low as they were in December, but cases have gone consistently down, and just over 42,000 cases were reported the week ending on February 10th.
Indiana saw a similar trend based on weekly COVID cases across the same amount of time. There were about 27,000 cases the week ending December 2nd.
Indiana saw a major spike, like Kentucky, in late January where more than 98,000 cases were reported before a steady decline, once again, where there were about 17,000 COVID cases reported in Indiana last week.
“We anticipate that the number of new cases will continue to go down, which means that the number of hospitalizations will start to go down. And then eventually the number of deaths will go down,” said Brian Dixon, the Director of Public Health with the Regenstrief Institute out of Indianapolis. “The ray of hope is that we have now in the US experience three major peaks,” he explained.
The graph below shows those peaks in both Kentucky and Indiana.
In both states, cases really started to rise more than 30 weeks into the pandemic, during winter. Indiana's numbers were much higher than Kentucky's at that point, reporting more than 45,000 positive COVID cases in November of 2020, whereas Kentucky had almost 21,000 by January 2021.
We saw cases climb again for both states in September of 2021, each reporting more than 29,000 cases that month, and most recently, we experienced the third peak at the end of January. Kentucky reported more than 86,000 Indiana reported more than 98,000 before that significant drop by February.
“That gives us some hope that as we move forward, we should begin to see peaks not as high as what we saw this last winter,” said Dixon. “It will still be with us though, but it will not cause as much disease and hospitalization and death as it has over the last two years.”
Dixon said he expects a relatively long decline. “What we call a long tail,” he explained, “that's one scenario that we're looking at, the most likely scenario, meaning that cases are going to go down but kind of slowly. So it may not even be till the end of March that we see things hit the low levels that we did last spring.”