Surge In Kentucky Coronavirus Cases Expected

Mar 23, 2020


University of Kentucky Epidemiologist Kathleen Winter says studies indicate between 40 to 60% of Kentucky’s population is estimated to become infected at some point with coronavirus. 

Winter noted about 20% could become seriously ill while the remaining 80% could range from having no symptoms to being bedbound but not hospitalized. “Whether that will happen over the course of several months or over the course of several years really depends on how we approach these disease control measures and whether or not we get a vaccine to get fast tracked through the system in next months to years,” said Winter.

The epidemiologist added a surge in coronavirus cases in the Commonwealth is anticipated.  Winter noted that’s because social distancing measures were not in heavy use two weeks ago and testing has increased significantly.

As far as transmission, the epidemiologist said it continues primarily through direct contact with an infected person.  Winter explained a virus survivability study on different surfaces was done in a lab where a high amount of virus was inoculated onto the surfaces.

Winter said the asymptomatic transmission of coronavirus is concerning as some infected with the virus can have no fever or cough.  Winter added social distancing, coughing into an elbow, and washing hands are all important to help preserve critical care beds for those most seriously affected.

Winter said being around a group of people presents a risk, but that doesn’t rule out going to the grocery store, particularly for those under 60.  The epidemiologist noted there are all kinds of risks, including getting in a car every day.  Winter said it’s about balancing, but coronavirus is something that has a much greater public health impact than individual risks.​

Winter comments on an expected surge in cases:

Winter talks about the risks of going out in public: