Health

Louisville’s death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic reached 1,000 this week.

Mayor Greg Fischer announced nine new deaths at the city’s weekly press briefing on Tuesday. He said the large number of deaths should motivate people to take precautions, even as weekly case counts continue to fall.

“I hope they can take this sad milestone of 1,000 and say, ‘Wow, we don’t want that to continue,’” Fischer said. “Most everybody now knows somebody that’s been touched by COVID, and it’s not fun. When you lose somebody, it just leaves a hole in your family and your friend group.”

Weekly COVID-19 case counts in Louisville have decreased for 12 weeks in a row. Louisville Metro chief health strategist Dr. Sarah Moyer reported 624 cases from last week.

She said despite spikes in the Midwest and Northeast, Louisville’s numbers continue to improve.

“Since January, the number of weekly COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths in our city have declined drastically,” Moyer said. “While those numbers have plateaued in recent weeks, they are still on a downward trend.”

During this period of COVID-19 cases decreasing, the number of vaccines distributed in the city has gone up. More than 268,357 Louisvillians have received at least a first dose, and 142,058 have completed the vaccine series.

Next week, a new mass vaccination site operated by the University of Louisville will open outside of Cardinal Stadium. It will be the largest vaccine operation in the state. Anyone 16 and older can sign up for a shot here.

The city-run LouVax site at Broadbent Arena will stop administering first doses on Friday. Health officials said they are shifting to a mobile outreach program that will target different neighborhoods throughout the city.

John Boyle covers southern Indiana communities and health for WFPL News. He is a Report for America Corps member.