JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ky. — The omicron variant continues to spread across the country, but here in Jefferson County we're seeing a major spike in new cases.
In just a week, case numbers have more than doubled, with over 10,000 reported last week. Since Sunday, we have seen almost 2,000 new cases a day.
Right now, the positivity rate across Kentucky is the highest it has ever been since the pandemic began, at 20.72%.
The concern now that cases are on the rise once again is whether hospitals can keep up with the newest spike. Right now there are 323 people in the hospital with COVID-19 related symptoms, 63 in the ICU and 36 on ventilators.
"At this rate it's very likely that our hospitals are going to be in crisis mode, beyond capacity." said Dr. Sarah Moyer with the Metro Department of Public Health.
If hospitals become overrun with COVID patients again, elective surgeries may have to be postponed and you could receive delayed care, regardless of if you have a COVID-19 related emergency or not.
Every age group in the county is seeing an increase in cases, but the 20 to 44 age group is currently seeing the highest. The majority of cases are coming from those that are unvaccinated.
"This is still a pandemic of the unvaccinated," said Mayor Greg Fischer. "We still have far too many vulnerable people in our community infected as well as kids."
Norton Children's Hospital reported having 16 kids yesterday with COVID, all of them were unvaccinated.
Right now, only 18.5% of 5 to 9 year-olds are fully vaccinated. According to Dr. Moyer, if more kids were vaccinated it would not only help lower the rate of children getting infected, but it would lower the amount of adults getting it too.
"If we were able to get up to 40% of the 5 to 11 year-olds vaccinated it would almost half the number of adults that were hospitalized. Not only are we trying to protect your kids but the rest of the community." said Dr. Moyer.
The increased cases among the younger age groups is especially concerning as students return to school.
There are over 100 different locations to get you and your kids vaccinated against COVID-19 around Louisville. If you need help finding one or have any questions, the Metro Department of Public Health has a lot of information on their website to answer them.
You can also call the LOU Health COVID-19 Helpline at 502-912-8598. It's open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.