Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said there were 206 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Jefferson County as of Tuesday, an increase of 43 over Monday.
Seven of those infected people have died, three more than yesterday, Fischer said during his daily press briefing. This includes a previous death that is now being linked to COVID-19.
“I’m very sorry to hear that on behalf of the community,” he said.
All four people who have died were in a high-risk category, either over the age of 60 or with other health issues.
The mayor announced the launch of the Small Business Continuity Loan Program, for businesses with 10 or fewer full-time employees.
Businesses can get a loan of up to $25,000 with zero interest for 12 months.
“We’re fighting a health crisis, but we’re also fighting a financial crisis,” Fischer said.
Businesses interested in applying can visit www.lhomeky.org.
Asked if he would be ending his quarantine, as Tuesday was supposed to be the last day, Fischer said he was evaluating whether he would continue to work from home or not.
“We’ll just play that by ear,” he said.
The mayor’s wife, Dr. Alexandra Gerassimides, contracted the COVID-19 illness, likely after attending a March 7 fundraiser at the Speed Art Museum.
As for reports that Louisville has a chance to land NBA playoff games later this year, Fischer said that would be “awesome” as long as the virus is no longer an issue.
However, he noted nobody in his office has had conversations with NBA officials yet.
Officials again urged social distancing when in the grocery or anywhere outside the home, asking people to try and limit the trips outside their house to once a week.
“The more we stay home, the safer we all are,” Fischer said.
Earlier in the day, Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad said in a Facebook town hall that his officers are still having to spend a “great deal of time” responding to places were people are gathering, such as parks.
Conrad said these situations are not healthy for the public or officers and urged people to follow social distancing guidelines.
The department does not have the authority to arrest people who gather, and Conrad said “nor would we want to” as putting people in jail would also be dangerous.
“We are asking for cooperation,” Conrad said, “In some cases, we are begging for cooperation.”
One officer has tested positive for COVID-19 and is hospitalized, the chief said.
The department is separating officers as much as possible, doing away with morning roll call and keeping as many people out of headquarters as possible.