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 officials say COVID is still affecting communities
- Not all positive home tests are reported to local health departments
- Because some positive cases go unreported, case counts in each county may reflect a false reality
- Health officials are encouraging people to continue washing their hands and staying home if they feel ill
Cassie Prather of the Woodford County Health Department said while hospital admissions are not increasing, Kentucky is not out of the woods with the spread of COVID-19.
“We’ve seen a steady slow increase over the past few weeks, and that’s without the majority of home tests being reported,” Prather said.
And seeing that increase, Prather said, is worrying.
“If you’re testing at home, you’re most likely not going to be one of those people who’s still going to the community or places where you could potentially infect someone,” she said. “My concern is that the numbers will then look better than they are and give us a false sense of security.”
At-home testing has been useful, and Prather said she supports having a resource to test herself and loved ones at home.
“Having what you think are seasonal allergy symptoms here in Kentucky is a good way to know your status when you’re around a lot of people,” Prather said.
But they can also affect the reality of the situation when it comes to COVID-19 cases.
“COVID is still here, and we still need to take the preventive measures that we should have taken before,” Prather said.
According to Kentucky’s COVID-19 Tracker, Woodford County is in the red with a positivity level of nearly 12%. But the good news is that hospitalizations and severe cases are not seeing the same increase.
“Fortunately, this particular variant, the subvariant of Omicron, appears to cause milder symptoms,” Prather said.
To allow health officials to fully trace COVID-19 cases, Prather is encouraging people to fill out forms online if they test positive at home.
“We still get quite a bit of traction on this interview forum,” Prather said.
With immunizations and home testing, she’s hoping for a speedy drop in cases but wants to remind everyone that COVID-19 is still impacting communities.
According to the CDC, more than 75% of Woodford County residents are vaccinated, and on average fewer than two people are hospitalized for COVID-19 each week.