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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A report by the University of Louisville has good news: the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Louisville has reached a plateau, and researchers expect a slight decrease in death rates and a significant decrease in hospitalizations by August.

That said, researchers continue to stress the importance of social distancing.

The announcement came in a news release Tuesday morning.

The modeling study, which was jointly produced by the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Services and the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness, is the second such report completed in a matter of weeks.

According to the news release, the projections from this latest report, "show a current plateau in hospitalizations, along with a slight decrease in death rates and a significant decrease in hospitalizations by the end of August, compared to the first report completed just a few weeks ago." Those projections assume that current social distancing and containment measures are continued.

The study examines factors such as hospitalization rate, length of time from disease onset to hospitalization and average length of stay in the hospital -- which in Louisville is just five days.

"Hospitalizations appear to have plateaued and are hopefully on a trend downward, but again, only if social distancing and stronger containment measures continue, at least at the current rate," said Seyed Karimi, Ph.D., a co-author of the report and an assistant professor in the Department Health Management and System Sciences at the U of L School of Public Health and Information Sciences, in a statement. 

The report pinpoints April 7 as the date when public and private social distancing policies became most effective.

To read the most recent report, CLICK HERE.

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