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Lexington Mayor gives update on coronavirus response

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Posted at 3:00 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 15:01:59-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton hosted a news conference Friday to give an update on the city's response to the coronavirus pandemic. Mayor Gorton announced that the city government will stay open to focus on basic services.

Our state is at a tipping point, Gorton said. “Experts have said that, for Kentucky, the next few weeks are critical in the battle against COVID-19,” she said. “Since Lexington, Louisville and Northern Kentucky are the largest concentrations of population in the state, what Lexington does will affect the entire state.”

Mayor Gorton has now opened the Emergency Operations Center for disaster response coordination and to focus on critical supply needs. Lexington Fayette County Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh said, “Social distancing continues to be important — please stay home as much as possible, getting out only for groceries, medical issues or other life-sustaining needs. This doesn’t mean you can’t get outside and go for a walk, but be sure to keep at least 6 feet from everyone.”

Gorton talked about the importance of staying and home and said that starting Saturday, that's where many of the city's employees will be. She says the Healthy at Home plan for employees is their part to slow the spread of the virus, while ensuring basic needs to the community. It was announced that city employees will receive their regular salaries and be prepared to help in the community.

“Public safety, waste management and water quality are among our top priorities.” said Gorton.
Thursday, a member of Lexington's Fire Department tested positive for COVID-19 and is now in the process of a 14-day isolation. Eight other members of the Fire Department who have been in close contact with that individual are also in quarantine. Mayor Gorton announced that the Fire Department's ability to respond to emergencies has not been affected.

Mayor Gorton announced Friday that all of Lexington's natural areas, including Raven Run, McConnell Springs, golf courses and parks have been closed. All rental facilities and parks programming are canceled until April 20. Parks will be open to walkers/runners, but it is encouraged that they stay 6 feet apart.

She also announced that yard waste pick-up has been suspended for now.

Mayor Gorton emphasized the importance of social distancing and the impact that it can have.

The Mayor's remarks can be found in other languages at https://www.lexingtonky.gov/