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'A perfect storm': Labor Day weekend concerns health officials

coronavirus
Posted at 2:26 PM, Sep 07, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The city of Lexington is about to reach a milestone, and no one seems to be in a celebratory mood. Tuesday marks six months since Lexington/Fayette County recorded its first case of COVID-19.

"It's hard to believe we've already been six months into this COVID-19 response," said Kevin Hall, the communications chief for the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department. "On one hand it feels like six years, on the other it feels like six hours."

Hall said the summer months were not good in Fayette County for limiting the spread of coronavirus, and it's raised our monthly average to roughly 1,000 new cases. Now the Labor Day weekend is a real concern because of where our numbers could go by mid-September.

"If you look the holiday history, Memorial Day and Fourth of July, the 10-14 days following those we saw a spike in cases," Hall noted. "Labor Day is the perfect storm. We have great weather, we had the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, and people coming out for one last blowout of the summer."

These factors drive the fear department officials have for a significant spike in case numbers over the next two weeks. Hall said he's hoping people are adhering to the guidelines.

The department is also recommending people consider a flu vaccine sooner rather than later. Because the flu and coronavirus symptoms are similar, health experts are predicting a difficult flu season. Hall said it is also possible to contract both viruses at the same time.

"We haven't here, but we've heard of national and international cases where people could get both at the same time," he said.

On a positive note, Hall said the county's hospitals didn't reach capacity at any time during the last six months while battling COVID-19, and getting vaccinated against the flu will help keep it that way as we move into the cooler, and eventually, much colder weather.