Mayor urges residents to save lives by staying home

March 29, 2020

Mayor Greg Fischer today again called on residents to stay home except for essential travel, and to avoid large gatherings and stay at least 6 feet apart when they must leave home.

“While many of us are making the smart, compassionate choice to follow social distancing, we’ve seen far too many people disregarding the orders issued by my office and by Governor Beshear to avoid gathering in large groups. Even if you don’t feel sick, you could still be infected with COVID-19; it only takes one person to infect 400 people over the course of a month,” Mayor Fischer said “It is our duty to help protect our family, our friends and our fellow residents.”

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The Mayor encouraged people to limit the number of times they leave their home and to only do so in order to buy essentials, see a doctor, care for a relative or, if needed, go to work. While going outside for exercise and mental health is encouraged, it is critical that people practice social distancing by staying 6 feet away from others.

“Social distancing doesn’t mean we stop interacting. Human beings are social creatures. You can still keep in contact with friends and family with phone calls, text messages, video conferencing and social media,” he said.

Bellarmine Knights men’s basketball Coach Scott Davenport, One Love Louisville Youth Implementation Team member Haley Brents and Dr. Eric Johnson, pastor of Greater Galilee Baptist Church, joined the Mayor to share the message to stay home.

“It’s so important for us to stay home and practice social distancing. You never know the people you come in contact with, you never know who they are going to take it home to. Don’t risk your life, and don’t risk someone else’s life,” Brents said. “Pick up a new hobby. Pick up the phone and call your loved one. You don’t have to be physically with them.”

Noting that it’s important for young people like Brents to spread the message, Coach Davenport stated that he’s disappointed that people are still congregating despite orders from Mayor Fischer and Governor Beshear.

“None of us are as good as all of us,” he said. “This is about doing things for people, not to people. They are all trying to help us. Let’s follow their lead.”

Following direction from both the Mayor and Governor, Greater Galilee Baptist Church has shifted to hosting its services online so that church members can still worship while remaining safe at home.

“Life is a gift from God, and we should treat it as such,” said Dr. Eric Johnson, adding that staying home is about being a good steward of our community.

Update on COVID-19 cases in Jefferson County

As of Sunday afternoon, there were 140 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in Jefferson County, an increase of 9 cases since Saturday.

“We’re seeing the increase in positive cases that we expected. Part of that is because we’ve increased testing,” Mayor Fischer said. “We’re not seeing the explosion of new cases that’s happening in New York and other parts of the country. But that could happen at any time.”

COVID-19 has killed more than 30,000 people worldwide and that number continues to grow.

The new cases include a Louisville Metro Police Department officer. The officer last worked a shift on Wednesday, March 25. He is currently being treated at a hospital.

Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness is working alongside LMPD officials to determine any additional course of action. LMPD has notified all those who may have worked with the officer during the time he may have been ill. The department has had the areas where the officer worked, including his vehicle, cleaned and sanitized.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, LMPD is following the recommendations from Louisville Metro Health and Wellness to keep officers and the public safe. That includes instituting several new protocols, including rolling role calls, limiting public access to police facilities, and increasing the capacity of its telephone reporting unit.

“Our thoughts are with this officer, and we’re hoping for a speedy recovery. Our thanks to all of our first responders who put their lives on the line every day and even more so during this crisis,” the Mayor said.

Emergency alert

Louisville Metro Government Sunday afternoon issued a public safety alert through its emergency notification system LENSAlert to spread the stay home message.

The message read: “Staying home will save lives. No one is immune to COVID-19. Stay home, limit trips to the store for essentials; wash your hands frequently; stay 6ft from others; and avoid public gatherings. Stay connected with friends and family by phone or through social media. Learn more at www.louisvilleky.gov/covid19.”

Text "LENSAlert" to 67283 to start getting emergency notifications, or sign up online at www.louisvilleky.gov/government/emergency-services/lensalert-smart911.