Coronavirus Health

Louisville passed 100,000 total COVID-19 cases over the weekend. That means that nearly one in seven residents has contracted the virus at some point in the pandemic, according to health officials who spoke at a Tuesday press briefing.

This comes as the city continues to experience high numbers of coronavirus fueled by the delta variant. 

Current numbers for the city, including cases, hospitalizations, people in the ICU and on ventilators, are close to the rates recorded during the peak of the last surge.

Although this week’s daily incidence rate is slightly lower than last week’s, the city remains in the red level, and health officials are unsure if this dip in numbers will last. 

“I’m not confident it will stay in this downward trend, only time will tell. We do know that there’s a lot of traveling and gathering that happened over this last weekend,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, chief health strategist for the city.

Last year, Labor Day marked the beginning of a fall spike for coronavirus. Moyer says she’s hopeful that this won’t be the case this year, but due to the delta variant surge, an additional spike would be “very scary.”

At the Tuesday briefing, local health officials also discussed the mental toll the pandemic has taken. Suicide Prevention Week started Sunday.

“This has been an unprecedented difficult time for all of us, so if you’re not feeling at your absolute best right now, that is certainly understandable,” said Geneva Robinson, director of the Crisis and Information Center at Seven Counties Services.

Seven Counties is one of Louisville’s community mental health providers. It offers a 24-hour hotline where people can speak with a crisis intervention counselor. 

As people have dealt with isolation, fear, anxiety and depression caused by living through the pandemic, the crisis hotline has seen an uptick in calls.

Robinson said the hotline would receive about 61,000 to 64,000 annually in previous years. That increased to approximately 71,000 in 2020. This year, crisis center staff have already received at least 51,000 calls.

Robinson also noted that there has been a particular rise in the intensity and seriousness of the calls they receive. 

She encouraged anyone in need to call the hotline for help.

“It’s OK to not be OK right now. That’s not necessarily a bad thing,” Robinson said. “And we want to help normalize that.”

The Seven Counties Services adult crisis hotline is (502) 589-4313, and the child crisis hotline is (502) 589-8070.

Breya Jones is the Breaking News Reporter for WFPL.