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'These are real people': Lexington sets a new coronavirus record

Posted at 9:36 AM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 17:51:26-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Can’t say we weren’t warned. Over and over again in the days and weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, health experts spoke about the dangers of a large holiday gathering.

“We anticipated the spike coming after Thanksgiving and that is most likely what’s contributing to this,” said Kevin Hall of the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.

Hall noted that several cases have been reported at the Fayette County Detention Center as well, but the fact that Lexington set a single-day record on Wednesday – 13 days after Thanksgiving – is not a mere coincidence.

“People have COVID fatigue, and are not keeping the same standards as they previously did,” Hall said.

But there’s another, perhaps greater, problem.

“Misinformation and mix messaging can spread faster than COVID-19. That’s one of the biggest battles public health faces,” Hall said. “People will yell at the news media for reporting the numbers, but these aren’t just numbers, these are real people."

In Lexington, 451 people were diagnosed with COVID-19 Wednesday, and none of them knows how they will fare. Some will land in a hospital, others will go symptom-free, a few might end up with long-term health ramifications, while some, sadly, might die.

As of Thursday, Lexington’s current hospitalization rate has tripled since the summer. That’s a pace that could force patients into being moved to hospitals out of the county.

“There’s a plan in place in Lexington, if we have a shortage of beds, we can work with the surrounding counties,” Hall said.

In theory, that’s a great plan-B, but only if those places don’t set the kind of record Fayette County just established on Wednesday.

“We need people to be as vigilant as ever because the end to this is hopefully coming soon with that vaccine being widely available. But, it’s still so far away," Hall said.