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Broadbent Arena

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jefferson County is no longer in the most serious "red zone" when it comes to tracking coronavirus cases in the commonwealth.

The different color categories help counties monitor the incident COVID-19 cases and determine what guidelines and restrictions should be followed. The categories are split up by how many daily cases there are per 100,000 people, and it’s calculated by the previous seven days worth of data.

Jefferson County tipped into the "red zone" in October 2020, which means there were 25 or more daily cases reported per 100,000 people. But as of this week, the state’s COVID-19 dashboard listed Jefferson County in the "orange zone," which has the range of 10 to 25 cases. The state’s map shows Jefferson County with a rate of 23 daily cases per 100,000 people.

The cases have been trending down, and Norton Healthcare's Dr. Paul Schulz said there are several factors that could be contributing to the progress. He said it is the hope that cases trend down as more people are being vaccinated, but that’s something scientists and medical professionals will need to study for a while to see for sure. The doctor also said the slower time of year could be helping, since the holidays are behind us, and fewer people are getting together in groups.

However, Schulz said it is critical that people continue to not let up their guard. Kentucky has seen a few dips in cases over the last 11 months, followed by vicious spikes. Schulz, along with local and state leaders, said that it is critical people continue to wear masks and keep their distance.

“If everything goes well, you can see — I think — some light here in late-summer is probably where these trends continue," he said. "And then you can start backing off on some of the restrictions."

There is a discrepancy between the state and local numbers. The Kentucky website shows Jefferson County doing better and in the orange, but the local dashboard still shows the county in red. Mayor Greg Fischer attributed the difference to a lag in reporting the data.

“The good news is the trend is really good in terms of our daily incident rate," he said. "There is a data disconnect between the state and the local government because of a lag. We do not have a robust federal or state database, so we’re doing this from the bottom up. And we’re doing the best we can."

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