Mayor Fischer applauds Louisville’s globalization efforts during COVID-19 crisis

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 21, 2020) – Mayor Greg Fischer today said that Louisville’s commitment to globalization and international diversity continues despite the strains being placed on the community by the COVID-19 outbreak and the economic disruption it has caused.

This morning, the Mayor hosted a one-hour tele town hall to discuss globalization and the various efforts being undertaken to help the immigrant community during the outbreak.

“Imagine if you’re showing up as a refugee with a dollar in your pocket. How do you navigate through his strange new world we’re in right now?” Mayor Fischer said.

The Mayor said it has been a priority of his administration to welcome foreign-born newcomers to Louisville and help them adjust to the community.

According to Sabeen Nasim, Director of the Metro Office for Globalization, foreign-born residents make up 7.4 percent of the Jefferson County population, or about 56,750 people. They represent 106 countries, with the top five being Cuba, Mexico, India, Vietnam and China.

Nasim said the Office for Globalization was quick to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, translating health information about the virus into more than 20 different languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Urdu and Swahili.

Representatives from local agencies that assist refugees and immigrants said the pandemic has impacted many of their programs, but they noted a strong outpouring of support from the community.

“People are reaching out to us with food cards, diapers, financial contributions,” said John Koehlinger of Kentucky Refugee Ministries. “People are at home thinking about other vulnerable members of our community (and how) to help everyone get through this together.”

Mayor Fischer pointed out that much of Louisville’s recent growth has been due to “the significant growth in the foreign-born population,” which strengthens the fabric of the community and contributes to the economy. That momentum should not be allowed to stop due to the current crisis.

“We’ve got a lot of compassionate people who help a lot of people in our community, but there’s something special when you help a refugee family because they are ready to be self-sufficient, and oftentimes they just need that little extra piece of help,” Mayor Fischer said.

To watch a replay of today’s Tele Town Hall, go to www.facebook.com/MayorGregFischer.

Daily COVID-19 data

As of Tuesday, there have been 907 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Louisville, with 440 recoveries. There have been 3 additional deaths since Monday, bringing the Louisville total to 71.

Gender/Age data for today’s deaths:

  • Female/81
  • Male/81
  • Male/71

Currently, 11 members of LMPD, Louisville Fire, Metro EMS, Metro Corrections and the Sheriff’s Office are off-duty due to COVID-19:

  • 2 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.
  • 10 have fully recovered and returned to duty.

Metro Corrections inmate data for April 21:

  • 94 inmates have been tested.
  • 0 positive tests.
  • 2 tests are pending.

City seeking donations of personal protective equipment (PPE)

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. 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 covid19resources@louisvilleky.gov 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 to be the topic of Wednesday Tele Town Hall

The Mayor’s Tele Town Hall on Wednesday will raise awareness of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on mental health.

The guests will be Dr. Broderick Sawyer, a clinical psychologist who specializes in race-based stress and trauma, mindfulness, and compassion-based therapies; and Cheri Levinson, an assistant professor in the UofL Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and director of the Eating Anxiety Treatment (EAT) lab.

You can participate by going to www.facebook.com/MayorGregFischer at 10 a.m.