Mayor Greg Fischer 03-25 COVID-19.JPG

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer talks to the media during his March 25, 2020, COVID-19 briefing.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A 75-year-old Louisville man has died of the novel coronavirus, Mayor Greg Fischer announced Wednesday.

He is the fifth death connected to the coronavirus in Kentucky.

The man had underlying health issues, Fischer said during his daily briefing on Louisville's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"As we know, when COVID-19 strikes on top of that, it can be very difficult, so our heart goes out to family and their friends," Fischer said, calling the latest fatality "a reminder for all of us of how real this threat is."

"COVID-19 is leaving a lot of family suffering right now, both from illness and then unfortunately when a passing like this takes place," he said.

The mayor said three of Louisville's 35 COVID-19 patients have since recovered and are showing no symptoms of the virus.

He also announced that five Louisville firefighters have gone into self-quarantine after one of their fellow firefighters tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. Fischer said they were in close contact with the infected individual.

He declined to provide additional details on the firefighter who tested positive for the coronavirus, only saying he does not reside in Jefferson County and that he is resting and already feels better."

Fischer said uniformed law enforcement, including Louisville Metro Police, will be stationed outside Louisville hospitals starting Wednesday in preparation for a future surge in COVID-19 patients.

Gov. Andy Beshear has said he will ask law enforcement officers and members of the National Guard to have a presence at hospitals across Kentucky in the coming days.

"Today we're taking another step to make sure our hospitals, our health care works, our operations folks at hospitals, the patients that go to hospitals are all safe," Fischer said.

"It's going to be the same as what their job is each and every day and when they're in high-traffic facilities, and that's just to help make sure everybody's safe and that they get where they're needed, and if you need any help, they're going to be there to help you," he added.

Fischer said Louisville hospitals are "nowhere near" the surges seen in places like New York City.

"If we do have that increased activity around hospitals, we just want poeple to see someone in uniform that they can go to for some help," he said. "... We're continuing to kind of look out in the future and try to get some feel for when the surge is going to hit our city. Hopefully it never hits."

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