LOUISVILLE (March 17, 2020) – Mayor Greg Fischer has announced a series of changes to city operations and facilities to protect public health, as well as the safety of Louisville Metro Government employees, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
MetroSafe is screening all calls for COVID-19 to give first responders as much information as possible about whether a person may have or be at risk for having the virus.
Effective immediately, all first responders with the Louisville Metro Police Department, Louisville Fire Department, Metro Emergency Services and Metro Corrections will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 upon reporting to work. The employee’s temperature will be taken, and their general health will be assessed. If an employee registers a temperature of 100 degrees or higher, or is presenting other symptoms of COVID-19, the employee will be ordered to return home.
Non-first responders of those departments shall be encouraged to self-monitor their health and to act accordingly, as per Personnel Policy 1.5 Standards of Ethical Conduct: “Employees shall follow and promote general standards of safety and health on the job.”
Additionally, Metro Government has hired a contractor to sanitize LMPD vehicles, Emergency Medical Service ambulances, and other vehicles used by first responders. Metro Government buildings will also be disinfected, using a sanitizing process that will last for seven days. The MetroSafe building downtown, which is where Metro 911 and the Emergency Operations Center are located, is the first building disinfected.
All Metro government employees are teleworking when possible, and some buildings are being closed to the public — but services will be available via phone and the Internet. Go to www.louisvilleky.gov to find contact information for the various Metro agencies and departments.
Other specific changes include:
- Conducting rolling roll calls: Rather than have officers gather together at the start of each shift at their division headquarters, commanders will request them to call off via radio from wherever they are in the division.
- Providing security and traffic control support for Metro-run food distribution sites as they go operational today (Tuesday).
- Limiting public access to police facilities – including the main headquarters, division headquarters buildings, the property room, the LMPD Service Center and the tow lot.
- In order to cut down on the risk of face-to-face exposure, LMPD is increasing the capacity of its telephone reporting unit. More calls for service will be sent to that unit for situations where a report can be taken by phone instead of dispatching an officer.
- Using state forms for reporting on non-injury accidents, as is done during bad weather.
- Suspended all training except for LMPD recruits who are currently in the Academy. Academy training continues with precautions in place to allow for social distancing.
Louisville Fire Department
LFD will limit patient contact on non-traumatic incidents and patients not in immediate distress.
- Crews will consider reducing the number of personnel making direct patient contact.
- Crews will keep further distance during patient assessment to limit exposure.
- Post patient care: Crews will continue to frequently disinfect apparatus and equipment.
LFD has suspended:
- Home Safety Checks, with the exception of 311 MetroCall requests.
- Community Involvement Programs and public access to fire facilities.
- Community Action Programs.
- Target Hazard Surveys conducted by fire suppression companies.
- Routine Building Inspections conducted by the LFD Fire Prevention Bureau.
- Note: Buildings that pose eminent life hazards such as an overcrowding situation or structural instability will continue to be inspected, and codes will continue to be enforced.
- Performing call-ahead notifications to hospital facilities if transporting a patient who may fit the parameters of suspected COVID-19, which allows for special intake procedures at the facility to reduce the spread of the virus.
- Ambulances are being decontaminated multiple times each shift, with a deep decontamination after any suspected contact with COVID-19 and at the conclusion of each shift
- In-person training and unnecessary gatherings are suspended.
- EMS employees are encouraged to notify command staff if they or a family member is sick, and to not report to work if so.
- TARC established a COVID-19 Task Force on March 6th that meets daily and is responsible for providing a rapid, controlled, and effective response to COVID-19.
- All TARC vehicles, including fixed-route buses and TARC3 vehicles, are being cleaned and sanitized daily in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control. TARC is exceeding the guidelines of most transit agencies concerning COVID-19 sanitization techniques.
- The TARC Safety & Security Department has been taking additional steps in response to COVID-19, providing kits to drivers that include gloves, sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes.
- In addition to local officials, TARC is in regular communication with the Federal Transit Administration and the American Public Transportation Association.
Louisville Parks & Recreation
- The city’s 120 parks, including its 18 Olmsted-designed parks will remain open with no restrictions on access. The 6,700-acre Jefferson Memorial Forest will also stay open, but the Welcome Center is closed. Parks employees are increasing cleaning protocols and implementing social distancing.
- Louisville’s 10 municipal golf courses will remain open for play. Parks has taken several steps to ensure the safety of players and employees:
· In the clubhouses, food service will be limited to takeout only. Tables and chairs will be removed to prevent social gathering, and patrons are discouraged from congregating inside them.
· Additionally, bathrooms and touchpoints will be cleaned multiple times daily, credit card terminals will be cleaned after every use, and clubhouse employees will use gloves during every transaction.
· Golf carts will be limited to a single rider per cart, and carts will be thoroughly cleaned after each use. Golfers are encouraged to keep six feet away from each other during play, and flags are to be left in the holes at all times.
- The Mary T. Meagher Aquatic Center is closed.
- The city’s 13 community centers are temporarily closed to the public through April 5.
- The Wilderness Louisville Senior Center is closed.
- Parks will not be accepting rentals of facilities and shelters through April 5. All rentals through April 5 have been canceled. Those with rental agreements through Louisville Parks and Recreation will have the option of a refund or a rescheduled date.
Inmate visitation has been suspended at the Louisville Jail for at least three weeks. The decision was made based on a recommendation from Gov. Andy Beshear.
The Zoo is temporarily closed. While there have been no known cases of exposure to COVID-19 at the Zoo, the decision to close was made to further support efforts to reduce the rapid spread of the virus and to protect the health and wellbeing of Zoo staff and the community. The animal care team and other essential personnel will remain active at the Zoo; however, staff who are able to work from home will be encouraged to do so. The Asian Lantern Festival has been temporarily closed as well.
Louisville Free Public Library
The Main Library and branches are closed. Library staff is teleworking when possible. Fines for overdue books and other material are temporarily suspended. Patrons should not try to return borrowed materials. LFPL offers access to eBooks, eMagazines, downloadable audiobooks, and streaming movies online at http://www.lfpl.org/.
Metro Codes & Regulations
- Property maintenance enforcement will be focused on exterior inspections, but interior inspections will be conducted, if necessary, to address health and safety concerns such as electrical, plumbing, and sewage hazards. Violations will still be issued if warranted.
- Codes & Regulations is working with property owners who may need additional time to correct non-hazardous conditions.
- Construction Review Permit applications can be dropped off and payment will be accepted on the first floor of the Metro Development Center, 444 S. Fifth St. Building Permit applications also can be submitted through the city’s online permitting portal at aca-louisville.accela.com/ljcmg. Anyone having trouble filing online can call (502) 574-3321
- Construction review staff will prioritize inspections.
- Section 8 inspections will be limited to initials inspections and follow-up of previous failed inspections.
- Vacant lot crews will stagger shifts and only perform prioritized work orders.
- ABC applications can be dropped off on the first floor of the Metro Development Center, 444 S. Fifth St.
Metro Office of Resilience & Community Services
- The seven Neighborhood Place locations will close to walk-in traffic starting on Wednesday.
- For information on financial assistance, call (502) 363-1424
- For WIC assistance, call (502) 574-7975.
- If you need to apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), call (502) 991-8391. Go to https://louisvilleky.gov/government/resilience-and-community-services/low-income-home-energy-assistance-program-liheap for info.
- If you need to drop off LIHEAP paperwork, please leave your documents in the red box at the Neighborhood Place door.
- For information on Food Stamps, Medicaid, K-TAP, and Child Care, please call (855) 306-8959.
Metro Public Health & Wellness
- WIC offices are closed to walk-in traffic. For assistance with WIC, call (502) 574-7975.
- The TB Clinic is operating by appointment only.
- The Specialty Clinic is limiting the number of people in its waiting room, and practicing social distancing.
Metro Animal Services
- Animal Control officers will only respond to the most serious incidents involving a human and domestic animal in progress, or to assist first responders.
- The LMAS Shelter at 3528 Newburg Road will be open only for adoptions, citizens looking for a lost pet, fosters, and stray pet surrenders.
- Go to gov/government/animal-services for more info. You can also direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The comprehensive Kentucky Career Center at Sixth and Cedar will be closing today at 5 p.m. All other Career Centers are closed.
- Both Kentucky Youth Career Centers (Fourth Street and the Nia Center) and Reimage are closed, but staff members are still providing virtual career services and guidance. Please check out the KYCC and Reimage Facebook pages or call (502) 574-4115.
- KentuckianaWorks staffers are teleworking and can be reached at (502) 574-2500 or by completing the contact form at https://www.kentuckianaworks.org/contact.
- Those seeking unemployment compensation from the State of Kentucky should visit https://kcc.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx.
Metro Revenue Commission
- Suspending face-to-face customer service.
- You are advised to use the E-MINTs online portal to file taxes, request an extension, request an employee refund, make a payment, request a payment plan, view account info and correspondence, or send a message. Go to metrorevenue.org to learn more.
- Call (502) 574-4860 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to connect with the taxpayer services, legal, audit, and compliance divisions for any assistance you may need.
Air Pollution Control District
- The Louisville Air Monitoring Network continues normal operations and is being maintained. Air monitoring data is available in real time at the Louisville Air Watch website.
- Odor, dust, and smoke complaints are still being taken and investigated, though direct person-to-person contact is being avoided.
- If you need to speak to someone at the APCD, please call first at (502) 574-6000. The person you need to see may not be working in the office that day, and you may be able to resolve your issue without coming to the office.
- Motorists must still pay to park in metered spots. Parking violations will still be issued but booting has been suspended.
- To help support the local food and beverage industry, PARC will allow 15 minutes of free meter parking in spots near restaurants if you are picking up a carryout order or buying a gift card. Make sure to turn on your flashers.
- All public meetings (Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Adjustment, Landmarks Commission, Land Development and Transportation Committee, Development Review Committee, and neighborhood plan advisory committees) are canceled through April 5, 2020. No meeting notices will be sent during this time.
- Offices at the Metro Development Center, 444 S. Fifth St., remain open. However, everyone is encouraged to interact with Develop Louisville staff via phone or email. Develop Louisville’s main line is (502) 574-6230.
- Plans and applications may be dropped off in the Metro Development Center’s First Floor Conference Room.
- Zoning Enforcement is still conducting exterior inspections. Violations will still be issued if warranted and working with property owners if additional time is needed to correct non-hazardous conditions.
- The Metro Office of Housing will continue processing applications for home repair and conducting essential inspections to keep repair projects moving forward. For information about housing repair, call (502) 574-5850.
- Vacant property information may be obtained by calling (502) 574-4200.
- Neighborhood Plan information may be obtained by calling (502) 574-1358.
Department of Economic Development
- Most staff are teleworking in order to comply with guidance regarding social distancing, though the offices remain open.
- Economic Development staff is communicating with our business community about resources available to them.
- If you need to reach someone within Economic Development, call (502) 574-4140.