LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Despite increased excitement over vaccine distribution, Chief Health Strategist Dr. Sarah Moyer said Jefferson County has entered into another COVID-19 surge.
Louisville set records for COVID-19 case counts and deaths the first full week of 2021, recording 4,140 new cases and 59 deaths. Moyer said the surge is a result of the holiday season.
"Thinking about how close we are to the finish line and how that could possibly have been prevented really pains me," Moyer said. "Now really is the time to recommit to staying strong and doing those things that we know work."
Moyer said she recommends anyone who travels outside of their house for work or other essential needs get tested.
Since Jefferson County received its first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Medical Director Dr. SarahBeth Hartlage said more than 20,000 doses have been given out through Saturday. Hartlage said zero doses have been wasted at Broadbent Arena's mass vaccination site.
Louisville is currently in Phase 1A of vaccine distribution, working to provide doses to health care workers. Moyer said over 60% of people who have been offered the vaccine have accepted it thus far, saying she hopes that as more people see the results of the vaccine they feel encouraged to get tested.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Mark Burns with UofL Physicians said he has noticed an increase in patients' interest in the vaccine since last summer, but said transparency is needed to continue fighting against distrust in minority communities.
Hartlage said the city will give specifics on the distribution of vaccines during Phase 1B Friday, saying they will continue to have schedule appointments through their website.
As more people are vaccinated, local health officials said those vaccinated should continue to practice CDC recommendations like social distancing and wearing a mask.