Mayor Fischer urges Louisville businesses to take all necessary health and safety precautions before reopening
Mayor Greg Fischer today stressed the need for a sensible and safe approach to reopening the economy amidst a COVID-19 pandemic that is still ongoing.
Governor Andy Beshear’s Healthy at Work plan is allowing businesses to reopen in phases – beginning last week with non-emergency healthcare providers – and has laid out a strict series of steps they must take to protect customers and employees from COVID-19.
“Our governor has taken a thoughtful, measured approach will allow us to reopen our economy while also protecting ourselves, our families and our community,” Mayor Fischer said. “We can’t just go back to the way things were before the pandemic. We still have to be humble about the terrible power and potential harm this virus can cause.”
Today, several business sectors were allowed to reopen through the next phase of Healthy at Work:
- Vehicle or Vessel Dealerships
- Office-Based Businesses (50% capacity)
- Horse Racing (No Fans)
- Pet Care, Dog Grooming/Boarding
“Of course, this is about more than just opening your doors,” Mayor Fischer said. “In order for a business to reopen and stay open, they have to follow strict guidelines for social distancing, cleaning and disinfecting and for the use of personal protective equipment.”
(To see the full list of Healthy at Work guidelines, go here.)
The Mayor lauded the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce for partnering with the State of Kentucky to provide much-needed face masks – a key requirement of Healthy at Work – to businesses. The masks cost less than $1 each and can be purchased at www.Kychamber.com/maskorderform.
“The Kentucky Chamber is proud to provide businesses personal protective equipment to operate safely during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Kentucky Chamber president and CEO Ashli Watts. “Over the past couple of months, Kentucky businesses have stepped up and worked together in the fight against the coronavirus by helping with the production and distribution of masks and hand sanitizer.”
During today’s media briefing, Mayor Fischer also spoke with Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, president and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc., to hear about the challenges facing local businesses that are navigating these unprecedented times.
GLI has established a website, www.crisissupporthub.org, for local companies to keep up with COVID-19 and find resources to help them manage the crisis.
Davasher-Wisdom noted that immediate lack of childcare options for employees is concerning business operators who are being allowed to reopen sooner than the mid-June date set for some childcare facilities in Kentucky. There is also the specter of legal issues that may arise for businesses trying to operate amid a pandemic.
“The biggest concerns we are hearing from employers right now are the lack of childcare availability before June 15th and the legal liability risks that exist when reopening begins,” Davasher-Wisdom said. “These are real challenges that continue to evolve, and we are communicating with the appropriate elected leaders to ensure those concerns are heard and addressed.”
As of Monday, there have been 27 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Louisville, bringing the total to 1,675 with 1,012 recoveries. There has been one additional death since Sunday. The confirmed Louisville total is 119.
Currently, 59 members of LMPD, Louisville Fire, Metro EMS, Metro Corrections and the Sheriff’s Office are off-duty due to COVID-19:
- 21 are off with positive tests and in self-isolation.
- 23 are off and quarantined due to exposure to someone with a positive test.
- 15 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:
- 43 positive tests.
- 22 have fully recovered and returned to duty.
Metro Corrections inmate data for May 11:
- 370 inmates have been tested.
- 0 positives.
- 163 tests are pending.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted community blood drives across the country, so the American Red Cross is once again putting out the call for donors.
The Red Cross is hosting a blood drive from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday at the KFC Yum! Center in downtown Louisville to help ensure that local hospitals have enough supply on hand.
“The Red Cross is making a special plea for African American donors to give blood to help patients battling sickle cell disease,” Mayor Fischer said. “Without a readily available blood supply, sickle cell patients can experience severe pain, tissue and organ damage, acute anemia and even strokes.”
To maintain proper social distancing and other health safeguards, blood donors must make an appointment. Go to www.redcrossblood.org to sign up. (Enter the keyword KFCYUM). PARC will provide free parking in the arena garage.
Mayor Fischer today expressed his gratitude to Jai Bokey for his donation of 200 KN95 respirator masks for use by Louisville Metro Corrections personnel. Bokey, vice president of operations at V-Soft Consulting, also joined with Raghu Garre and the Louisville Golf Classic to provide lunch to the hardworking members of the Metro Incident Management Team.
“Jai has earned a reputation as someone who’s ready to help anybody, anytime, anywhere,” the Mayor said. “It’s been gratifying to see how many folks in our community have embraced our city value of compassion these last few weeks.”
People and organizations that can donate PPE such as masks, gloves, and other supplies can contact [email protected] to coordinate with Louisville Metro Government.
Tuesday tele town hall
Mayor Fischer will host a Facebook Live tele town hall on Tuesday morning focusing on the challenges facing local businesses as they begin reopening.
Guests will be Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, chief of Louisville Forward Connie Mendel from the Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness; and representatives from local businesses Koch Filter and Work the Metal.
To participate, go to www.facebook.com/MayorGregFischer at 10 a.m. Tuesday.