Mayor Fischer Presser - 4-22-20

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the city has reached a "tragic milestone" as more than 100 people have now died from the novel coronavirus.

With four more COVID-19 deaths since Sunday, 102 people have now died in Jefferson County.

"That certainly is a tragic milestone," Fischer said during his daily briefing. "Each one of them represents an incredible life story."

And, Fischer noted, these deaths have happened "without loved ones by their sides" and as funerals are not allowed with more than 10 people. 

"So it's just another part of the cruel twist of this virus," the mayor said. 

In addition, the number of positive cases for first responders jumped significantly, specifically in Metro Corrections, where eight employees tested positive for the virus. In addition, another Louisville Metro Police officer has contracted COVID-19.

Fischer said Metro Corrections employees are in "very close contact with each other," and city officials are working with the jail to handle the outbreak.

One positive, he said, is that the number of inmates has dropped from about 1,800 to 1,200 in the last month. 

And all of the 131 inmates who have been tested so far are negative. 

There were only nine new positive cases in Jefferson County on Monday, bringing the total to 1,421. Of those, 767 have recovered and 50 are currently hospitalized, with 33 of those in the intensive care unit. 

So far, 8,767 people in Jefferson County have been tested. 

Still, the mayor stressed that just because the overall number has fallen and the weather is nice, citizens must stay vigilant in staying home, social distancing and wearing a mask when out. 

"We're not looking to be the fastest. We're looking to be the best," Fischer said of opening, crediting Gov. Andy Beshear with first saying it. 

Asked about a reopening timeline, Fischer said the city is in a phased reopening now, starting with health care facilities. City officials are looking for a decrease in the number of overall cases, deaths and hospitalizations.

The goal for reopening restaurants is June, he said.

"It's like gently opening a faucet," he said. "We're gradually turning it on."

The mayor will hold a public safety town hall on Facebook on Tuesday. 

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