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Strict measures in place for Louisville, Ky., residents have reduced transmission of coronavirus, according to a new study, the mayor said.
The study, done by the University of Louisville and Louisville Metro Government health experts, also warns against a swift reopening.
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The new evidence shows the city’s decision to shut down large gatherings, temporarily close non-essential businesses and advise residents to stay home, effectively prevented overtaxing Louisville hospitals and first responders, Mayor Greg Fischer said, according to a news report.
There have been at least 1,421 confirmed COVID-19 cases,102 deaths and 767 recoveries in Louisville, according to the city’s latest figures. In the scenario that current measures were lifted, the study projected “as many as 900 more people in Louisville would die and about 2,000 more would be hospitalized by August.”
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By maintaining the strict social-distancing guidelines and bolstering contact tracing, the model predicts a reopening in early June for the Louisville community. Though the city’s contact tracing team is made up of 55 members, the study estimated 250 to 500 staff members would be needed to tackle the job.
Meanwhile, nearby non-essential businesses in Indiana are following Gov. Eric Holcomb’s plans to reopen, ABC News reported. Fischer spoke with Southern Indiana leaders, advocating the need for a regional plan, according to The Lane Report. Fischer also reportedly urged Holcomb to allow bordering counties to work in close coordination with Louisville and advised residents to avoid crossing the bridge when possible.
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“We all have the same goal of safely getting back to work and school and a more normal version of daily life,” Fischer said. “Let’s keep working together so we can all achieve it together.”
Fischer also extended Louisville’s state of emergency to June 1 at a news conference last week.