Louisville continues to experience record-breaking numbers of shootings and violent crimes. As of July 7, 2020, officials report a 107 percent increase in the number of non-fatal shootings compared to the same time last year. Murders had increased by 40 percent from the same period last year.

In just a couple of days, five people had been shot in different locations in Louisville. The numbers appear to have risen sharply as civil unrest began in the city as protests throughout the country continued.

Since May 28, 40 percent of the city’s reported shooting occurred. One hundred two (102) of the 257 reported shootings in the city occurred within just six weeks. Thirty percent (30%) of the homicides occurred in just 40 days.

The Chair of the Public Safety Committee commented to WAVE3 News that the current level of violent crimes and deaths might be attributed to several factors.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated financial hardship on individuals could be a factor. The civil unrest and the tense relationship between law enforcement and some members of the community could be another factor. Together, they create the “perfect storm” for violent crimes.

Data from the Louisville Metro Police Department show that the late summer months generally are the most violent months of the year. June has never had the number of shooting victims before 2020.

Efforts are being made by city officials to stop the increase in violent crimes and homicides throughout the city. The worst year for the city for homicides was 2016, when 122 people were killed.

Louisville Continues to Reopen After COVID-19

City officials continue to reopen the city in phases. Louisville is now in Phase Two of the phased reopening plan. Plans can change if the coronavirus numbers begin to increase during the reopening.

Phase Two includes:

  • Facial coverings required in all city facilities.
  • The city’s Recreation Center can reopen July 1 with certain restrictions. However, the Senior Center remains closed.
  • In-person court can resume every other Tuesday with appointments for hearing times.
  • On July 13, the Police Department and Court window can open for appointments only during limited hours.
  • Coal Creek Golf Course can reopen with social distancing measures in place. Only those people who book and pay remotely have public access to the course.
  • In late July, the Historical Museum can begin tours with groups of six or fewer people by appointment only.
  • The Public Library may offer reservations for computer workstations beginning the week of July 13. The reservations are limited to two hours.
  • City Hall continues to prohibit drop-in services. You can schedule an appointment during limited hours.
  • Water, wastewater, and city service remain closed to the public.
  • Parks and trails within the city remain open. Outdoor recreation amenities remain open with restrictions. The Center for the Arts can open for rental of groups up to 10 people beginning July 13.

All opening dates and hours are subject to change.

City officials extended the facial covering requirements to August 30, 2020. According to the facial covering ordinance:

  • Facial coverings are required when you are in a business that is open to the public. This requirement includes government offices and facilities.
  • Facial coverings are required when you are outdoors, and you cannot maintain at least six feet of social distancing.

There are some exceptions included in the ordinance, such as young children, people who have trouble breathing, and people working in offices with no face-to-face interaction with the public. The ordinance has a list of all specific exceptions to the face-covering requirement.

Facial coverages, including fabric, cloth, or other material that does not have holes. The mask must cover the mouth, nose, and surrounding areas of the lower face. Facial coverings may be handmade or factory-manufactured.

Continued COVID-19 Precautions

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continue to caution people to take precautions to avoid coming into contact with the virus and to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Everyone should continue to wash their hands, social distancing, and following the other guidelines set by local, state, and federal agencies and officials.

The CDC has also updated the list of COVID-19 symptoms on its website. The current list of symptoms as of July 16, 2020, are:

  • Body or muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • New loss of smell or taste
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Runny nose or congestion
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

The CDC advises that the list does not contain all potential systems of the COVID-19 virus. If you experience any of the symptoms on the list, you can contact your doctor. However, if you have trouble breathing, chest pain, bluish face or lips, new confusion, or cannot stay awake or have trouble waking, you need to seek emergency medical assistance, according to the CDC.