What being a COVID-19 ‘red zone’ means for Jefferson County

What being a COVID-19 'red zone' means for Jefferson County (1)

On Monday, Governor Andy Beshear presented a list of recommendations for counties in the so-called critical “red-zone” for coronavirus transmission, continuing a series of measures taken by the state to limit COVID-19’s spread.

Residents of Kenton, Meigs, and Montgomery counties were advised to limit in-person purchases and dining, as well as work from home if possible. He also suggested that public events be rescheduled or canceled, as well as that residents avoid large gatherings. COVID-19 is classified as a red zone because it produces more than 25 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people. According to state statistics, the county’s current count is around 33.

“What we’re seeing is a wider spread throughout the community,” stated Dr. Jason Smith, the University of Louisville Hospital’s chief medical officer. The color-coded classification system, according to Smith, indicates how prevalent the virus is in a particular area and the likelihood that someone there will be infected.
“We’re not doing a good job of wearing masks or socially distancing as we were previously, which is resulting in us receiving more,” Smith added.

1,888 new infections were reported in Jefferson County last week. In Louisville, more people will test positive for COVID-19 this month than at any other time since the epidemic began in March, according to Dr. Karl Smith.
The red zone categorization is what prompted Jefferson County Public Schools to suspend some fall sports last week, and it could have an impact on when students can rejoin in-person classes.

Dr. Rui Zhao, Louisville’s public health and wellness director, thinks the epidemic is caused in part by an upswing in social gatherings. “You can’t tell when you’re contagious or if you’ve got it. You might be a silent carrier who gives it to everyone you know and care about.” Zhao added, “It’s possible that you’re an asymptomatic carrier who has infected everyone around you.”

The two attorneys are urging Louisvillians to follow Governor Behear’s recommendations and reconsider their holiday travel. Although he stopped short of issuing new mandates for red zone counties, Beshear appealed to people in those hot spots to follow the tips. He said many of the suggestions are things that individuals have done previously, urging them to return to doing so in order to slow the spread of the virus.

“I’m afraid we’re going to see a lot of bumps after Halloween. We’ll notice spikes around Thanksgiving and the other holidays approaching,” Smith added.

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