LOUISVILLE, Ky. — If you're headed to any Louisville Metro Government buildings next week, you'll have to bring your mask with you. Effective Monday Aug. 2, Louisville Metro will require masks to be worn in city buildings and vehicles when another person is present, the city announced in a news release.
What You Need To Know
- Masks are once again required for employees and visitors in Louisville Metro Government buildings
- The mandate applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status
- Louisville is currently in orange alert status, and experts expect red status to be reached as early as next week
- To date, 47.2% of Louisville residents are fully vaccinated and 55.5% of residents have received at least one shot
The new policy applies to every person regardless of vaccination status. The change comes amid a rapid increase in COVID-19 infections in the area, driven largely by the delta variant and low vaccination rates.
Louisville is in the orange alert status, with a two-week average daily incidence rate of 12.5 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, after several weeks in the yellow. In the past three weeks alone, COVID-19 cases in the area have tripled with 672 new cases reported the week of July 24.
“We’re at a point we’d hoped to avoid through vaccines, which are safe, highly effective at stopping serious illness and death from COVID-19, and widely available at over 100 locations throughout Louisville,” Mayor Fischer said in a news release. “This is an urgent step to halt this pandemic of the unvaccinated, and our community must once again work together so that we can we move forward – not backward – against this dastardly virus.”
Fischer urged other Louisville employers to also recommend masking to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect people who cannot be vaccinated.
From the beginning of the pandemic, Louisville has recorded 84,747 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,333 deaths. To date, 47.2% of Louisville residents are fully vaccinated and 55.5% of residents have received at least one shot.
“We need to do what we can to protect our Metro staff and citizens while they access government in our Metro buildings,” said Metro Council President David James. “Fighting the speed of COVID-19 saves lives and keeps people healthy. Please get vaccinated.”
Mayor Fischer and Louisville Metro Public Health & Wellness leaders said vaccinations are the best tool for stemming the sudden spike in cases.
“With the rapid increase in COVID cases due to the highly contagious delta variant, the health department is aligning with CDC guidance for universal indoor mask-wearing regardless of vaccination status,” Dr. Hartlage, Interim Medical Director of Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness said. “We’ve seen how problematic this virus is and we are taking the necessary precautions to ensure we protect our employees, staff and residents.”
Fischer added that the city will continue to monitor the situation, making changes as necessary to "protect the health of all Louisvillians."