LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Two weeks after the Kentucky Derby returned to full capacity for the first time in three years, Jefferson County health data show COVID-19 cases are on the rise.
Louisville’s online data dashboard shows 3,816 new confirmed cases last week.
Dr. Valerie Briones-Pryor, the medical director of Hospital Medicine Service Line with UofL Health, does not think we can attribute the increase to the Derby alone, she said.
“I think it’s everything,” said Briones-Pryor. “I think it’s just because the timing of Derby with Mother’s Day and it’s the end of the year for a lot of schools. I think it’s all of it.”
While she called the uptick “alarming,” Briones-Pryor has not seen as many people getting very sick, she said.
“The most important things to us, even though cases are going up, it’s what happens when folks get COVID,” she said. “How sick do they get? Do they need to be hospitalized where I take care of them, or do they need to be on a ventilator or in our ICU? And we haven’t seen that yet.”
With at-home testing more readily available, Briones-Pryor said she is hoping Kentuckians will test if they need to, ahead of Memorial Day weekend.
“If you don’t feel good, please either test yourself so you know it’s not COVID or ... I know it’s not fun to stay home, but if that’s the case, then do stay home because you don’t want to share what you have with others, whether it’s COVID or believe it or not, we still see flu,” she said. “There’s still other respiratory, even (gastrointestinal) viruses out there that have been floating around that actually do cause people to be really sick.”