Mayor tests negative for COVID-19; local bars and restaurants to close temporarily; LG&E to suspend cutting off customers
Mayor Greg Fischer today announced he has tested negative for COVID-19, but will remain in self-isolation until Saturday, March 21 as a precaution.
The Mayor has not displayed any symptoms. The test was administered after the Mayor came in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.
March 21 would mark 14 days since the event, which is the incubation period for COVID-19.
“I have just learned that my test for COVID-19 was negative. Per Health Department guidance, I will continue to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of exposure, which runs through March 21,” Mayor Fischer said. “In the meantime, I’m working from home, in constant communication with my staff and others in the community as we work through this crisis. I urge all to adhere to the health department guidelines about protecting yourself and your community.”
Mayor Fischer said he supports the decision by Gov. Andy Beshear to order bars and restaurants in the state to close temporarily and allow only carryout or delivery food service.
“Louisville’s food and beverage establishments are a critical piece of our economy – for the city and its residents and visitors – but these are unprecedented times for our city, nation, and world and we must continue to make our decisions based on the public health and safety of all our residents,” the Mayor said.
Mayor Fischer commended local restaurants and bars that had already been taking extra health measures like enhanced cleaning and more spacing between tables, and said that city officials are working with the local restaurant industry to help employees displaced by the closures.
“We appreciate the steps local businesses have taken thus far to protect their patrons,” the Mayor said. “We are in constant contact with our Louisville Independent Business Alliance and our Small Business Association about available resources for restaurant owners and employees.”
The Mayor and leaders of the Louisville business community discussed the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has been having on the local, national, and international economy in a teleconference Monday afternoon.
“With all the uncertainty surrounding this pandemic, I wanted to listen to the concerns being voiced by businesses small and large,” Fischer said. “And they needed to hear that Metro Government stands ready to do whatever it can to support them.”
After initially announcing the closure of indoor exhibits and event spaces, the Louisville Zoo is closing its entire facility to visitors, including the Asian Lantern Festival that was slated to run through April 25. The Zoo staff will continue to care for the animals and maintain the facility.
“This was a tough call to make, but ultimately the right one,” the Mayor said. “The Zoo is a community treasure and we all look forward to visiting it again soon.”
Following a recommendation from Gov. Beshear, Metro Corrections has suspended inmate visitation for at least three weeks. Jail facilities had initially continued to allow inmates to receive visitors via video.
“Although suspending visitation is not what we want to happen, it is the safe thing to do,” said Metro Corrections Director Dwayne Clark.
Louisville Gas & Electric Co. on Monday said that it will stop disconnecting customers with unpaid bills until May 1. The city’s electric utility said is also waiving new late fees incurred during this period.
“While we’ve historically taken similar measures during extreme weather conditions, we are in unprecedented times with this virus and we want to ensure that our residential customers, who may need some extra time to make payments, have the additional grace period,” said Eileen Saunders, LG&E’s vice president-customer services. “We are committed to working with our customers who may be having difficulty paying their energy bills and connecting them with available resources that can further assist them.”