COVID impacting businesses, health officials combat misinformation
Flu cases also on the rise in Lexington, other communities
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Just as it has repeatedly since it first was diagnosed in the state 22 months ago, COVID and omicron, its latest variant, continues to cause problems across the state.
For instance, Bourbon on Main, a popular Frankfort restaurant, announced Wednesday it is closing until Jan. 14, “in order to best protect our employees and customers.”
“We care deeply for our community and value safety above all else. Please be safe and we will look forward to greeting you again in the coming weeks,” the restaurant added.
Meanwhile, public health officials continue to combat misinformation about vaccines and COVID.
“One of the biggest falsehoods we’ve continued to see on social media is that the skyrocketing number of cases proves the vaccine isn’t working. That simply is not true,” the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department said Wednesday. “Yes, vaccinated people can get COVID-19. The current numbers for December show breakthrough cases as almost 38% of all cases and only 5% so far in January.
“But as we have stated before, the vaccine is effective at preventing serious illness and hospitalizations. The state reported that 95% of deaths in ages 60 and under are among people who are not vaccinated. With hospitalizations among Lexington residents, 80% are people who are not vaccinated,” the department added.
Officials from Lexington’s hospitals shared information about what they’re seeing as COVID-19 numbers increase. They also spoke on the importance of getting vaccinated, as the bulk of their COVID-19 hospitalizations are among unvaccinated people. For example, UK HealthCare said that of the 34 COVID-19 patients in its ICU, 88% are not vaccinated. They also reported 26 COVID-19 patients on ventilators, with 88% of them unvaccinated.
Meanwhile, the flu season also is in full swing.
According to the health department, Lexington now has 106 lab-confirmed cases, up 15 cases from last Wednesday.
“A flu shot for ages 6 months and older is the best way to protect yourself and the ones you love from flu and its potentially serious complications. Get your free flu shot by same-day appointment every Monday, Wednesday or Friday in our Public Health Clinic, 650 Newtown Pike, by calling 859-288-2483!” the department said.
Lab-confirmed cases only reflect a small percentage of flu cases. Many providers use rapid testing, which is not required to be reported to state and local health departments.
“We are aware of people in our community testing positive for the flu virus in their provider’s offices through rapid testing, and the flu will continue to spread throughout the winter, the department said.