Mayor, faith leaders spread message to stay home, social distance as spring religious season begins
Mayor Greg Fischer today applauded faith leaders who have joined in fighting the spread of COVID-19 by moving religious services online and thanked them for their partnership.
“Making the choice to practice social distancing isn’t easy. It involves sacrifice. That’s especially true for our faith communities,” the Mayor said. “I want to thank all the faith leaders and community members who’ve made the tough choice and the right choice to worship at home.”
Mayor Fischer asked the few remaining religious communities still congregating to cease in-person services.
“Please do not endanger your people and the people of your community,” he said.
Rev. Timothy Findley Jr., a faith outreach specialist with the Office of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, acknowledged that it is difficult for church goers not to gather, particularly during Holy Week, but that religious organizations continue to reach out to members virtually.
“Through the use of technology, we have the ability to still worship. Worship is not stopping. We’re just using and employing a different methodology now, and that’s what’s most important,” Findley Jr. said.
There are more cases of people spreading COVID-19 before they show symptoms, said Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness and the city’s chief health strategist. The novel coronavirus causing COVID-19 can be spread through saliva and nasal secretions produced by coughs, sneezes, singing, and talking.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued new guidance encouraging everyone to wear some form of face covering when outside their homes. Dr. Moyer noted that wearing a mask will not prevent people from contracting the virus and is one of multiple measures people should take, including washing their hands, social distancing, limiting trips to the store and avoiding crowds.
“Wearing a mask of any sort does not replace social distancing,” she said, adding that surgical and N95 masks should be used by those most likely to encounter COVID-19. “These scarce resources must be saved for our healthcare workers and first responders.”
For more guidance on the use of cloth face coverings, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-co....
Last month, Louisville firefighter Michael Branch tested positive for COVID-19. He has since recovered and returned to work.
Mayor Fischer thanked Branch and other first responders for their continued dedication to the job.
“Our first responders are always on the front lines protecting the people of our city, and that’s especially true during this crisis,” the Mayor said. “One reason we need to keep social distancing is to protect the people who protect us.”
Branch, who joined Mayor Fischer during his daily briefing Sunday, emphasized the importance of everyone doing their part to stop the spread.
“If there’s one thing positive that has come from this pandemic, it’s that it shows we can come together for the common good. People are making sacrifices and actions to protect their fellow citizens,” Branch said.
“I’m lucky to be young and healthier than average. The virus itself didn’t provide me with terrible symptoms. But others haven’t been so fortunate. Let’s continue to do what we can to slow the spread and flatten the curve,” he continued. “Let’s not let inconveniences cause us to make decisions that may cause grave consequences for those most vulnerable. It’s our responsibility as a community. Please follow the recommended social distancing and other guidelines.”