Mayor Fischer orders flags to be flown at half-staff at all Metro buildings to honor those we’ve lost to COVID-19

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Eric Crawford photo/Twitter

FROM MAYOR FISCHER’S OFFICE

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 14, 2020) – Mayor Greg Fischer today ordered flags at all Louisville Metro Government buildings lowered to half-staff in honor of the 48 members of the community who have died from the COVID-19 virus.

“These are the mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, grandmas and grandpas who have unfortunately succumbed to this insidious disease,” the Mayor said. “As we work together as a community in this unprecedented effort to stop the virus, we must also pause to remember those we have lost to it, and hope they are among the last.”

City workers began lowering the flags at 8 a.m. today. They will remain at half-staff for the next week. Kentucky Governor Andrew Beshear has issued a similar edict for flags at state buildings.

Additionally, public buildings like Metro Hall and City Hall and the Big Four Bridge continue to be lit in green lights, the color of compassion, to honor the victims of COVID-19. Mayor Fischer has encouraged Louisvillians to do the same at their homes and businesses.

“Our hearts go out to all those who have died from this outbreak, and to their grieving families and friends,” the Mayor said. “We’re all working hard to keep the number of new cases and new deaths as low as possible. That’s why we must continue to stay home and practice social distancing. Limit trips out and wear a mask or a face covering in public. You’re protecting yourself and others, including our health care workers and our city’s first responders.”

City offers banking assistance to speed federal aid to Louisville residents

With billions of dollars flowing from the federal government to ease the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, city officials are working to make the process as smooth as possible for Louisvillians.

Federal officials have begun sending the first aid payments directly into bank or credit union accounts via direct deposit, which puts millions of Americans without an account at a disadvantage.

You are not required to have a bank or credit union account to receive federal COVID-19 aid, but your payment will take longer if it is being sent to you by paper check via the mail.

Bank On Louisville, a city-led collaborative that works to connect residents to safe and affordable financial services, is helping out by providing information on establishing an account and making sure it is on file with the IRS.

“Now more than ever, it is extremely important to have a banking account” said Erin Waddell, co-chair of Bank On Louisville and a program manager with the Metro Office of Resilience and Community Services. “With a bank or credit union account, not only can you manage your money remotely while practicing social distancing, but you will be able to receive your federal stimulus check, unemployment insurance and other income both faster and safer.”

Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals with an adjusted gross income below $75,000, or $2,400 to married couples filing taxes jointly who earn under $150,000. Parents also receive $500 for each qualifying child. The payments decline above the $75,000/$150,000 threshold and cap at $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for married couples.

Most people do not need to take any action. The IRS will calculate and automatically send the economic impact payment to those eligible. For residents who have already filed their 2019 tax returns, the IRS will use this information to calculate the payment amount. For those who have not yet filed their return for 2019, the IRS will use information from their 2018 tax filing to calculate the payment.

For more information on opening a bank or credit union account, go to www.bankonlouisville.org.

Daily COVID-19 data

As of Tuesday, there have been 623 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Louisville, an increase of 54 since Monday. There have been 3 additional deaths, bringing the Louisville total to 48.

Gender/Age data for today’s deaths

  • Female/89
  • Male/84
  • Male/74

Currently, 16 members of LMPD, Louisville Fire, Metro EMS, Metro Corrections and the Sheriff’s Office are off-duty due to COVID-19:

  • 4 are off with positive tests and in self-isolation.
  • 9 are off and quarantined due to exposure to someone with a positive test.
  • 3 are “screened off” with symptoms and have been tested (or due to be tested) but have not received test results.

Positive test numbers for first responders/public safety since the incident began:

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

Metro Corrections inmate data for April 14:

  • 41 inmates have been tested.
  • 0 positive tests.
  • 5 tests are pending.

Mayor Fischer talks COVID-19 with U.S. Conference of Mayors and National League of Cities

As cities in many parts of the country begin showing signs of flattening the COVID-19 curve, mayors and governors are beginning to talk about plans for gradually reopening their communities and lifting some restrictions.

Mayor Fischer today participated in a virtual press conference with the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities to stress the urgency for more federal assistance to cities like Louisville as they emerge from COVID-19 and confront the immense economic damage it has wrought.

“We are monitoring some very sober news about our economy,” said the Mayor, who is the incoming president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “The International Monetary Fund predicted that the global economy could contract by 3 percent, which could lead to a recession deeper than we’ve seen since the 1930s.”

Mayor Fischer said that the U.S. Conference of Mayors and National League of Cities found that 88 percent of local governments it surveyed are facing serious budget shortfalls due to the economic disruption caused by the pandemic.

“This is largely because of reduced revenue as a result of closed businesses and high unemployment. These shortfalls will impact city governments’ ability to offer critical services to the American people, during what we know is a time of great need,” the Mayor said. “And that is why I joined mayors around the country to send the message to Washington that local governments need the federal government to provide additional relief.”

Although the federal government is providing some help to deal with the impact of COVID-19, Mayor Fischer said Congress and President Trump did not provide enough flexibility for how to use those funds and didn’t address these serious budget challenges that cities and states face.

“Predicting what’s going to happen with the economy is a little like predicting what’s going to happen with COVID-19,” said the Mayor, who will talk more about these challenges and the city’s plans to deal with them during his budget address next week. “There are a lot of variables and there’s a lot we don’t know. But we know we’ve got a major challenge ahead of us. And it affects businesses, school systems, health care and local governments.”

Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio discusses JCPS status with Mayor Fischer         

During an online town hall this morning, the Mayor and his guest Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio discussed the school system’s massive effort to educate thousands of students via distance learning during the COVID-19 shutdown.

JCPS is deploying 20,000 Chromebooks to needy students and 6,050 internet hotspots are being provided by T-Mobile to help close the technology gap.

“We’re just going to build it from there and continue to look for ways that we can access families and continue to get hotspots to those students who need them, so it’s a game-changer,” Dr. Pollio said. “We’ve got to start thinking of other ways to provide services to kids that may be different than anything we’ve ever done.”

You can listen to a replay of this morning’s town hall at www.facebook.com/MayorGregFischer.

One Louisville: COVID-19 Response Fund update

Mayor Fischer today announced that the One Louisville: COVID-19 Response Fund has now collected more than $8.2 million to support households and non-profit community organizations impacted by COVID-19.

“Whatever challenges our city faces, we know we have the resilience and the compassion to meet them,” the Mayor said. “That’s illustrated just beautifully by the success of our One Louisville: COVID-19 Response Fund.”

The fund has disbursed about $3.4 million in aid, and Mayor Fischer today released the names of 31 more local non-profit organizations that have received grants to help them deal with the impact of COVID-19.

  • 2NOT1: Fatherhood & Families Inc.
  • Black Butterfly Strong, Inc.
  • Black Community Development Corporation
  • Centerstone of Kentucky
  • Decode Project Inc.
  • Family Scholar House Inc.
  • Franciscan Shelter House
  • Friends of Nicole 50/50 Mentoring Collaborative Inc.
  • Home of the Innocents
  • Homeless Coalition of Southern Indiana
  • House of Ruth
  • Jacob’s Well
  • Jeff Street Baptist Community at Liberty
  • Jewish Community of Louisville Inc.
  • Lifehouse Maternity Home
  • Louisville Central Community Centers Inc.
  • NAMI Louisville
  • New Day Ministries Inc.
  • Opal’s Dream Foundation
  • Re:Center Ministries
  • SeniorCare experts
  • Simmons College of Kentucky
  • SOS International Inc.
  • Sowing Seeds with Faith
  • Joseph Children’s Home
  • Survivors’ Corner LLC
  • The Bail Project
  • The Cabbage Patch Settlement House
  • The Morton Center
  • USA Cares Inc.
  • West Louisville Performing Arts Academy

Medical experts to be featured on Wednesday’s online town hall

There will be an online town hall on Wednesday morning devoted to answering your medical questions about the COVID-19 outbreak.

The guests will be

of Norton Gynecology Specialists and Dr. Monalisa Tailor of Norton Medical Group.

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