LEXINGTON, Ky. — Some health departments in Central Kentucky are seeing a “silent surge” in COVID-19 infections as cases continue to rise. 

What You Need To Know

  • Kentucky health departments says COVID is still affecting communities

  • Not all the positive at-home tests are being reported to local health departments

  • With some positive cases not being reported, the case numbers in each county may give off a false reality

  • Health departments encourage people to continue washing their hands and staying home if they feel sick

Cassie Prather with the Woodford County Health Department said although hospitalizations aren’t spiking, Kentucky is not out of the woods with COVID-19 spreading. 

“We have seen a steady slow increase over the past few weeks and that is without the majority of the home tests being reported,” Prather said.

And seeing that increase, Prather said, is concerning. 

“If you are testing at home, more than likely you’re not going to be one of those people that are still going to go out into the community or, you know, to places where you could potentially infect someone,” she said. “My fear is that that will then cause the numbers to look better than they are and give us a false sense of security.”

At-home tests have been useful, and Prather said she supports having a resource to test yourself and loved ones at home. 

“It’s a good way to know your status, if you’re going to be around a lot of people, if you’re having what you think are seasonal allergy symptoms here in Kentucky,” Prather said.

But they may also affect the reality of the situation when it comes to COVID-19 cases.

“COVID is still here, and we still need to be taking the preventative measures that we should have been before,” Prather said.

According to the Kentucky COVID-19 tracker, Woodford County is in the red with positivity levels at nearly 12%. But the good news: hospitalizations and serious cases aren’t seeing the same spike.

“Thankfully with this particular variant, the sub-variant of Omicron, it does seem to be causing milder symptoms,” Prather said.

In order for health departments to fully track COVID-19 cases, Prather is encouraging people to fill out forms online when testing positively at home. 

“We are still getting quite a bit of traction on that interview forum,” Prather said.

With vaccinations and at home tests, she hopes to see a decrease in cases soon, but wants to remind everyone that COVID-19 is still affecting communities. 

According to the CDC, over 75% of Woodford County’s residents are vaccinated and averaging less than two people hospitalized each week because of COVID-19.