Louisville surpassed 800 deaths from the coronavirus on Saturday as hospitalizations level off and the rate of new cases declines, according to the city’s COVID-19 dashboard.
The number of new COVID-19 cases has declined about 27% over the last three weeks, from 4,100 new cases the week of Jan. 9, to 3,000 cases the week of Jan. 23.
Alongside that, the rate the virus is spreading across the population appears to be falling. During a virtual town hall Saturday morning, Mayor Greg Fischer said average daily cases declined to 56.6 per 100,000 residents after peaking around 78 earlier this month.
Louisville’s incidence rate is still in the red zone, or what the White House describes as “uncontrolled spread,” but Fischer said the city is turning the corner on a post holiday surge.
“You’ll recall that we were really bemoaning the past several weeks, the post holiday surge from Christmas and New Year,” Fischer said. “It looks like we’ve peaked there. We’re coming down these past two weeks.”
University of Louisville Vice Dean of Research Dr. Jon Klein says the decline in cases indicates that the virus has run its course and burned its way through some of the community. He says it’s also a reflection of the community following health guidelines.
But Klein says the city isn’t out of the woods yet. Hospitalizations, ICU admissions and the number of people on ventilators remain relatively flat, or show a slow decrease.
“If there’s a chance of another surge in April or May because of these variants, we certainly want to see these numbers lower before we go into that surge… and I think we will,” Klein said.
Gov. Andy Beshear confirmed the state’s first two cases of the U.K. variant of SARS-CoV-2 on Tuesday.
The U.K. variant known as B.1.1.7 spreads faster and more easily than other variants, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.