Mayor Fischer stresses the need to protect Louisville’s senior citizens during COVID-19 outbreak
Mayor Greg Fischer today gave an update on the massive effort to protect Louisville’s senior citizens – especially those living in long-term care facilities – from the COVID-19 virus.
Although the disease has stricken and killed people from all age groups, it is especially deadly for people over age 60. Keeping coronavirus out of long-term care facilities has been a top priority for state and local officials, the Mayor said.
“This virus is not impacting everyone the same way,” Mayor Fischer said during a tele town hall this morning. “The first epicenter of this pandemic (in the U.S.) was a nursing home in Seattle.”
The Mayor was joined at the tele town hall by healthcare professionals and advocates for the elderly, who discussed their efforts to help vulnerable senior citizens during this time of uncertainty and self-isolation.
“One thing that (Mayor Fischer) and the governor did early on was close the facilities to visitors,” said Dr. Christian Furman, a member of the Governor’s Long-Term Care Task Force and the Medical Director of the UofL Trager Institute. “That was huge… it really helped.”
Sarah Teeters of the Metro Office for Aging & Disabled Citizens said she has been working with the state, which has regulatory oversite of Kentucky’s long-term care facilities, to ensure that Louisville’s nursing homes are prepared to prevent and stop a COVID-19 outbreak.
“We are making sure everyone is feeling safe and secure and ready for all possibilities,” Teeters said.
But the efforts go beyond medical precautions and increased security measures, said Tihisha Rawlins, associate state director of the senior advocacy group AARP. Recognizing that many senior citizens are homebound and unable to see their family and friends these days, AARP created a toll-free phone line so they can just hear a friendly voice.
“We mostly are hearing about people feeling lonely, feeling isolated,” Rawlins said. “This is a friendly phone call – not a doctor, not a counselor… just someone to let them get some things off their chest, express how they’re feeling, what they’re afraid of.”
To request an AARP Friendly Voices call, go to https://aarpcommunityconnections.org/friendly-voices/ or call 1-888-281-0145.
To watch a replay of today’s tele town hall, go to www.facebook.com/MayorGregFischer.
As of Thursday, there have been 40 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Louisville, bringing the total to 1,553 with 906 recoveries. There have been five additional deaths since Wednesday, bringing the confirmed Louisville total to 113.
Gender/Age data for today’s deaths:
Currently, 69 members of LMPD, Louisville Fire, Metro EMS, Metro Corrections and the Sheriff’s Office are off-duty due to COVID-19:
- 24 are off with positive tests and in self-isolation.
- 33 are off and quarantined due to exposure to someone with a positive test.
- 12 are “screened off” with symptoms and tested, or due to be tested, but have not received test results.
Positive test numbers for first responders/public safety since the incident began:
- 39 positive tests.
- 15 have fully recovered and returned to duty.
Metro Corrections inmate data for May 7:
- 332 inmates have been tested.
- 169 tests are pending.