LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 22, 2020) – Mayor Greg Fischer today reiterated the need for more direct federal aid to help Louisville navigate the uncertain times ahead and avoid drastic cuts to essential city services as the community combats the COVID-19 pandemic.
State law requires the Mayor to present his proposed 2020-21 city budget to Louisville Metro Council tomorrow, but he said the continuing crisis changes the city’s fiscal outlook on a daily basis.
“Crafting a budget in this context is a major challenge because the economy is reeling from the COVID-19 crisis,” Mayor Fischer said. “We have a three-phase plan for when and how we’ll start to reopen our economy, but as I’ve said, that process will be guided by data and not dates.”
The Mayor will present his proposed budget in a video address to Metro Council at 4 p.m. tomorrow. The next fiscal year begins on July 1.
Reflecting upon the unprecedented time we are in, this year’s speech will be a combination budget presentation and an updated look at the state of the city.
“I’ll also offer some new details on how we plan to revive and reshape our economy for the future so that we can create a city of greater opportunity and equity,” Mayor Fischer said.
As he has said many times, the Mayor stressed the need for Congress and the White House to provide more direct aid to cities and give them more flexibility in spending it.
“Probably the most significant variable in what our budget situation looks like is the degree of aid and flexibility we receive from the federal government,” Mayor Fischer said. “That’s why I’ve joined mayors across the country who are adamantly urging for Congress to give cities flexibility in how we spend those dollars, plus provide additional direct funding to address our shortfalls.”
The Mayor urged Louisvillians to call their leaders in Washington and push them to “save America’s cities” by sending more aid with fewer restrictions.
“American cities must have federal relief to make sure our residents have police, fire, emergency, public health, housing, sanitation and other services needed to recover from this crisis,” the Mayor said.
Mayor Fischer will deliver his Budget Address at 4 p.m. tomorrow. To view it, go to www.facebook.com/MayorGregFischer.
Daily COVID-19 data
As of Wednesday, there have been 931 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Louisville, with 440 recoveries. There have been 6 additional deaths since Tuesday, bringing the Louisville total to 77.
Gender/Age data for today’s deaths:
Currently, 12 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.
- 5 are off and quarantined due to exposure to someone with a positive test.
- 4 are “screened off” with symptoms and have been tested but have not received test results.
Positive test numbers for first responders/public safety since the incident began:
- 12 positive tests.
- 9 have fully recovered and returned to duty. (Yesterday’s news release incorrectly stated that 10 had returned to duty.)
Metro Corrections inmate data for April 22:
- 95 inmates have been tested.
- 0 positive tests.
- 1 test is pending.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) donation
Mayor Fischer today thanked Buddha Blessed Temple for its donation of 500 cloth masks and 75,000 pairs of latex gloves for local health care workers.
“They are members of our global community who are going the extra mile to support our health care warriors,” the Mayor said. “If you really want to feel better, help somebody else. There’s a lot of research to back this up. It’s true – acts of compassion benefit the giver as well as the recipient.”
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.
Mayor Fischer reiterated his call for local companies to make and/or donate PPE.
- Face shields
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Mental health the focus of today’s tele town hall
Mayor Fischer discussed the importance of mental health care amid the stressful time created by the COVID-19 outbreak during a tele town hall this morning.
The Mayor was joined by Dr. Broderick Sawyer, a clinical psychologist specializing in race-based stress and trauma, mindfulness, and compassion-based therapies; and Cheri Levinson, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at UofL and Director of the Eating Anxiety Treatment (EAT) lab.
They discussed the importance of mindfulness and good mental health practices, including meditation, and offered advice for taking care of ourselves.
To watch a replay of today’s Tele Town Hall, go to www.facebook.com/MayorGregFischer.