LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The inevitable has finally hit home as Fayette County health officials returned from the weekend to share a sobering bit of information.
“The 100,000 milestone is something to consider because we’ve been in this for more than two years,” said Kevin Hall from the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.
27 months after Lexington’s first COVID-positive patient was treated at one of the city’s hospitals, the city officially crossed the 100,000 positive-case threshold (100,649 as of this writing). Back on March 6, 2020, when Lexington had its first case, Mayor Linda Gorton declared a state of emergency in order to expedite funding and resources from the federal government.
Now, Fayette County cases are on the rise again. The county is in the “red” from a recent surge in positive lab-confirmed cases.
“If you look at the seven-day rolling average of a month ago it was 90 cases a day, now it’s 150 cases a day,” Hall added.
Hall said there are likely many factors contributing to this recent spike including, the Kentucky Derby, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, graduations, and other large gatherings this spring.
Many people are also several months removed from a vaccine or booster shot, or from having had COVID-19, so their immunity is waning. Nicole Merz, an expert with Wild Health testing services, noted that we become more susceptible to contracting the virus as its variants change. Wild Health is testing much more frequently now, with much of their volume stemming from travel, or return-to-work requirements.
Facial coverings are recommended in Fayette County when gathering indoors, and everyone is urged to get the vaccine. If you've received the initial two doses, the booster will add another layer of protection. If you’re over the age of 50 and/or immunocompromised, you’re likely eligible for a fourth dose, (second boost).
Mayor Linda Gorton’s office told LEX 18 that she is not inclined to alter any of the city’s outdoor July 4th plans, but she does want everyone to feel comfortable about wearing a mask if they choose that level of protection.