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Where Louisville's positive COVID-19 cases had been before they showed symptoms

Louisville Courier-Journal logo Louisville Courier-Journal 11/19/2020 Ben Tobin, Louisville Courier Journal
graphical user interface, application: A slide from Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's COVID-19 briefing from Nov. 17, 2020. © courtesy of Louisville Department of Public Health and Wellness A slide from Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's COVID-19 briefing from Nov. 17, 2020.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —  Louisville residents infectious with the coronavirus had frequented potentially crowded spaces days before they were symptomatic, according to data collected by the Louisville Department of Health.

Referencing a slide of places where positive cases were reported going to beginning two days prior to symptom onset, Dr. Sarah Moyer, the head of the department, said during a COVID-19 press briefing Tuesday, "We know that the virus doesn't move, people move."

"They were traveling, attending parties or gatherings, going to the grocery store, restaurants, schools, churches, workplaces healthcare settings," Moyer said. "If we want to stop the spread of the virus, we really need to stop moving."

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Over a roughly two-week period at the beginning of November, people who had tested positive had been at parties, gatherings and religious services more than 120 times and other workplaces more than 790 times beginning two days before they started showing symptoms.

a person driving a car: Norton Healthcare sponsored free Covid-19 testing for Louisville's Latino community at St. Rita Catholic Church. A man is swabbed in his car for the coronavirus. May 27, 2020 © Pat McDonogh / Courier Journal Norton Healthcare sponsored free Covid-19 testing for Louisville's Latino community at St. Rita Catholic Church. A man is swabbed in his car for the coronavirus. May 27, 2020

In the same presentation, Moyer detailed how much the pandemic had spread throughout Louisville. From Oct. 5 to Monday, Jefferson County had seen a 250% increase in average new daily cases and a 510% increase in the number of people hospitalized.

Related: What to know about each of Kentucky's new coronavirus restrictions

To date, Louisville Metro has had a total of 32,721 COVID-19 cases and 460 coronavirus-related deaths. 

Bill Altman, who is spearheading testing efforts in Louisville, said Tuesday during the briefing that the exponential rise in positive COVID-19 test results has put a strain on contact tracers' efforts.

"With the increase in cases, it's become incredibly hard to initiate contact tracing in a timely way," Altman said. "So one of the things that we've done is that we've begun handing out ... a phone number for you reach out to the contact tracers when you get a positive test result."

He added: "You don't have to wait, and you shouldn't wait, for the contact tracers to get in touch with you."

The number people can call to get in contact with contact tracers after a positive test result is 502-912-8598.

This presentation from the city came one day before Gov. Andy Beshear announced new restrictions to help stem the spread of the coronavirus in Kentucky. In the past week, the commonwealth had seen its four single highest days of new COVID-19 cases.

Beshear's restrictions include temporarily ceasing in-person instruction for all K-12 public and private schools and pausing indoor services at restaurants and bars for a little more than three weeks.

Where positive COVID-19 tests traveled two days before symptom onset

This data is collected by the Louisville Department of Public Health and Wellness for new cases from Nov. 2 to Nov.15

  • Travel and transportation settings: 60+
  • Parties, gatherings or religious services: 120+
  • Other workplaces: 790+
  • Grocery stores: 90+
  • Health care settings: 100+
  • Restaurants: 70+
  • Schools or daycares: 190+

Contact Ben Tobin at bjtobin@gannett.com and 502-377-5675 or follow on Twitter @Ben__Tobin.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Where Louisville's positive COVID-19 cases had been before they showed symptoms

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