Mayor Fischer urges Louisville businesses to take a cautious approach to reopening as COVID-19 restrictions are eased
Mayor Greg Fischer today announced the easing of COVID-19 restrictions on more public activities as the city takes a gradual approach to reopening the economy.
On Wednesday, funeral homes will be allowed to reopen, in addition to retail shops. Louisville Metro Government has begun to reopen some of its buildings to the public, and activities such as in-person fire inspections and hands-on fire training are resuming. Requirements for Metro Government employees returning to work today include mandatory face coverings, temperature checks, and daily health-monitoring questionnaires.
Meanwhile, many local restaurants are preparing to reopen their dining rooms in anticipation of the May 22 lifting of those restrictions. To help, the city has made it easier for restaurants to open and expand outdoor dining areas on sidewalks and in parking lots. The Mayor urged business operators against rushing back without taking all the necessary precautions laid out in Gov. Andy Beshear’s Healthy at Work reopening plan.
“But let’s keep in mind that while the Governor’s plan lays out when businesses can reopen, it doesn’t mean a business should reopen right away,” the Mayor said. “In order to reopen and stay open, businesses have to follow strict guidelines for social distancing, cleaning and disinfecting and for the use of personal protective equipment.”
Last week, businesses in several key industries were eligible to reopen, from manufacturing and construction to pet care and photography. Office workplaces have been permitted to reopen at 50 percent capacity.
“Gov. Beshear’s thoughtful plan for reopening our economy moves at a measured pace and allows us time to carefully plan for how we can do so safely,” Mayor Fischer said.
Dr. Sarah Moyer, the city’s chief health strategist, said it’s still advisable to stay home and telework as much as possible. While Louisville has so far averted an overwhelming surge of COVID-19 cases at its hospitals, the virus is still spreading in the community. If you must return to the office, you should wear a face covering, wash or sanitize your hands, and avoid large groups of people.
“You may need to return to work, but you can reduce your risk in other areas,” Dr. Moyer said. “Remember, the virus doesn’t move, people move. You can limit the people you interact with and the things you touch.”
For a complete list of Kentucky’s Heathy at Work guidelines, go to https://govstatus.egov.com/ky-healthy-at-work.
As of Monday, there have been 74 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Louisville, bringing the total to 2,009 with 1,244 recoveries. There has been one additional death since Sunday. The confirmed Louisville total remains at 129, however, due to a database error yesterday.
Currently, 50 members of LMPD, Louisville Fire, Metro EMS, Metro Corrections and the Sheriff’s Office are off-duty due to COVID-19:
- 16 are off with positive tests and in self-isolation.
- 25 are off and quarantined due to exposure to someone with a positive test.
- 9 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:
- 47 positive tests.
- 31 have fully recovered and returned to duty.
Metro Corrections inmate data for May 18:
- 543 inmates have been tested.
- 7 positives.
Mayor Fischer today also announced that Louisville Metro Government has been selected to receive tailored research to help communicate with Louisville’s growing foreign-born community during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The COVID-19 crisis hits everyone hard but it’s especially challenging for many members of our international community, and particularly our refugees,” the Mayor said. “Many of these Louisvillians have fled war or famine in their home countries, and now they arrive here and face a pandemic.”
Louisville is one of 12 city governments and non-profits from across America selected by the New American Economy, a bipartisan research group. This research will help officials produce culturally sensitive emergency response measures and other communications tools.
“This is a great honor and opportunity,” Mayor Fischer said. “Thanks so much to Sabeen Nasim, our Director of the Office for Globalization, for her leadership and work to secure this opportunity and resource for our city.”
Mental health to be the topic of Tuesday tele town hall
To mark National Mental Health Month, Mayor Fischer will host a tele town hall on Tuesday morning focusing on the issue.
He’ll be joined by family therapist Amanda Villaveces and Nancy Brooks, Louisville executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
You can participate by going to www.facebook.com/MayorGregFischer at 10 a.m. Tuesday.