Mayor sees signs of encouragement, urges patience toward gradual reopening of healthcare providers

April 27, 2020

Mayor Fischer today acknowledged that while the city is seeing the first steps toward the gradual reopening of the economy, he urged patience and reiterated his three-phase plan for resilient recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

“Governor Andy Beshear has said that non-urgent healthcare providers like optometrists, medical offices, chiropractors and physical therapy can open as long as they follow proper guidelines. That’s encouraging,’ said Mayor Fischer. “But we have to remember that we still have a long way to go. We have to continue staying home and practicing social distancing. Wearing masks or face coverings in public. That’s the only way we get to keep advancing through the process to the next phase and the one after that.” 

The Mayor added that Louisville is still currently in phase one, and testing capacity continues to be one of the major factors in determining the pace of reopening.

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“We appear to be in a rolling plateau as our peak. That’s where the data tells us we are now, though we’re already preparing for Phase II,” the Mayor said. “Phase II will begin when we take the first steps toward reopening, once our health experts and the data make it clear that it’s safe to gradually ease some of the social distancing restrictions and the Governor lifts his executive orders.”

Phase three is comprised of a long-term economic recovery plan which includes the Mayor’s Build Back Better Together initiative. Mayor Fischer asked all Louisvillians to weigh in on the recovery effort at www.louisvilleky.gov/buildbackbetter.

“We’re asking for your help and input as we look to find opportunities in this moment of challenge to create a stronger, more innovative and more equitable economy.”

Mayor premieres new Louisville song at Tele Town Hall

Mayor Fischer today celebrated the world premiere of the song “Lift Up Louisville,” created collaboratively by 30 local musicians in response to the COVID-19 crisis. As part of the Mayor’s Lift Up Lou initiative, Fischer approached Louisville Orchestra music director Teddy Abrams with the idea of writing a song that would embody Louisville’s strength and resilience. The end result was a collaboration between Abrams, co-producer Ben Sollee, and a host of talented Louisville artists, including My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and Patrick Hallahan, Wax Fang’s Scott Carney, Will Oldham, Carly Johnson, Jecorey 1200 Arthur, and Sam Bush among others.

“This is a love song for our city that’s designed to both capture the spirit of our city and help bring us even closer together in this particular moment,” said the Mayor. “Our artists are the soul of our city and on behalf of all 771,000 people in our city, thank you all for this amazing contribution to the cultural life and the historical record of this moment in our city’s history.” 

The Louisville song project has already received national attention from the Wall Street Journal and PBS Newshour. 

“This is another way that Louisville leads and innovates,” the Mayor added. “And today is just the beginning. Later this week, I will formally issue challenges to cities around the world to produce their own collaborations about their cities and their experiences so we can assemble a one-of-a-kind global musical montage of this moment in history to remember the way we embraced the arts to get us through this crisis.” 

All proceeds from the song Lift Up Louisville will benefit the One Louisville: COVID-19 Response Fund, Louisville’s central funding source to provide emergency resources throughout the region. To date, the fund has collected more than $8.8 million to support households and non-profit community organizations impacted by COVID-19. To learn how to donate to One Louisville, or to request financial assistance, simply go to Louisvilleky.gov and click on the link at the top.

The Mayor’s Lift Up Lou initiative is designed to help maintain a sense of community through social media and to lift the collective spirits of citizens during this time of social isolation. Lift Up Lou features live workouts, local artists, mindfulness sessions, educational content, and much more on Facebook at facebook.com/LiftUpLou.

One Louisville COVID-19 Response Fund

Mayor Fischer today announced that the One Louisville: COVID-19 Response Fund has now collected more than $8.8 million to support households and non-profit community organizations impacted by COVID-19.

The fund has disbursed approximately $6.8 million in aid, and Mayor Fischer today released the names of local non-profit organizations that have received grants to help them deal with the impact of COVID-19.

  • Habitat for Humanity of Metro Louisville Inc.
  • Kentucky Center for Special Children Services (Carriage House Educational Services)
  • Wellspring
  • Down Syndrome of Louisville, Inc.
  • Blessings in a Backpack
  • Russell Development Corporation; Chef Space
  • Day Spring
  • Skillz 4 Life, Inc
  • Nativity Academy at St. Boniface
  • Louisville Youth Group Inc.
  • Bullitt County Housing First
  • Sandefur Dining Room/Cathedral of the Assumption
  • I Would Rather Be Reading
  • New Roots, Inc.
  • Boys & Girls Haven, Inc.
  • Free2Hope, Inc.
  • Loaves and Fishes, Inc.
  • Lighthouse Promise Inc (Lighthouse Academy at Newburg)

In addition, the Mayor announced a round of grants issued to local arts organizations, in partnership with Fund for the Arts.

“As I’ve said, the arts are the soul of our city. They inspire us and help bring us together. And our arts organizations have been hit especially hard by COVID-19,” said Mayor Fischer.

Arts grant recipients include:

  • River City Drum Corp Cultural Arts Institute Inc. LLC
  • StageOne: The Louisville Children's Theatre, Inc.
  • Commonwealth Theatre Center, Inc.
  • The Louisville Orchestra, Inc.
  • Elevator
  • Young Poets of Louisville
  • Kentucky Shakespeare, Inc.
  • YouthBuild Louisville - Steam Exchange
  • Looking for Lilith Theatre Company
  • Louisville Ballet
  • Squallis Puppeteers
  • The Little Loomhouse, South Louisville
  • Young Authors Greenhouse
  • KMAC Museum

“These organizations enhance the quality of life in our city and provide critical arts experiences for young people, which promotes creativity and brain development,” added Fischer. “And let’s remember: The arts generate $462 million in annual economic activity for our city, so we need a healthy arts community. I’m proud that the COVID-19 Response Fund and Fund for the Arts can team up to support these outstanding city partners.”

Daily COVID-19 data

As of Monday, there have been 27 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Louisville, bringing the total to 1,119, with 541 recoveries. There has been one additional death since Sunday, bringing the Louisville total to 83.

Gender/Age data for today’s deaths:

  • Individual/90+

Currently, 24 members of LMPD, Louisville Fire, Metro EMS, Metro Corrections and the Sheriff’s Office are off-duty due to COVID-19:

  • 3 are off with positive tests and in self-isolation.
  • 15 are off and quarantined due to exposure to someone with a positive test.
  • 6 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:

  • 13 positive tests.
  • 10 have fully recovered and returned to duty.

Metro Corrections inmate data for April 27:

  • 98 inmates have been tested.
  • 0 positive tests.
  • 0 tests are pending.

Local businesses continue to pitch-in on providing PPE

Mayor Fischer today thanked Louisville businesses that have stepped up to do their part to help the community with the fight against COVID-19, especially by donating or producing PPE to protect first responders and health care warriors.

“I really appreciate all of our business partners who’ve stepped up. This is what a compassionate city does,” the Mayor said.

He thanked Premier Packaging, Reynolds Aluminum, KY Mirror & Plate Glass, and Sonic Electronix and urged all businesses to help out where they can.

Although Louisville has not been overwhelmed by a surge of coronavirus patients, officials continue to be concerned about the supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers and first responders. That includes:

  • Coveralls
  • Face shields
  • Respirators
  • Safety goggles
  • Surgical masks
  • Surgical gloves
  • Sanitizing wipes
  • Disinfectant spray
  • Hand sanitizer (65% alcohol minimum)

If your company can donate or manufacture any of these items, or know someone who can, and you want to know more, please contact Louisville Metro Government at [email protected] and someone will respond.

You can also contact the state PPE hotline at 1-833-448-3773 or go online at www.secure.kentucky.gov/formservices/TeamKentucky/PPE. 

Tuesday’s online town hall to focus on hospitals

Mayor Fischer will join with representatives of area hospitals for a Facebook Town Hall on Tuesday morning to discuss COVID-19 and increased reports locally and nationally of people experiencing serious health issues but avoiding the ER out of fear of COVID-19.

Go to Facebook.com/MayorGregFischer at 10 a.m. on Tuesday to participate.