LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The COVID-19 case number around Lexington wasn't pretty in September, with 2,804 confirmed cases. That's nearly 300 more than our previous highest monthly total in August. But, when you consider a count-wide positivity rate that continues to hover around four percent, it's not as bad as it looks.
"Getting tested and the numbers going up is not a bad thing because people then know what their status is," said Kevin Hall, communications chief for the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.
The city has made testing more convenient in recent months with drive-up locations popping up all over town. More and more people seem to be taking advantage of that, including those who came to the Shiloh Baptist Church testing site on west 5th street beginning this morning.
"This is my fifth time," said Rene Felder. "Because I have an elderly mother and I'm around elderly people as well," she added when asked why she's come so frequently despite not feeling under the weather and testing negative each of the previous four times.
Hall said Rene's desire to be tested five times over the last seven months is not overdoing it. He'd rather have more testing than have people walking around unknowingly transmitting the virus to others.
Aside from a relatively low positivity rate, another major factor to consider when calculating Lexington's totals is our universities.
"The Universities make up about 26 percent of our cases," Hall said, before firing off a warning shot.
"Those college students, no matter which college they go to, they go out in the community. They shop here, they dine here, they are a part of the community," said Hall.
Meaning they can quickly spread the virus to someone not affiliated with a university in any way.
The testing at Shiloh Baptist Church will continue on Friday and then again next Friday and Saturday. Hall said anyone like Rene, who didn't feel sick, can and should consider getting tested, especially those who work in close contact with other people.