LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Starting at March 25, Louisville Metro Police and other local law enforcement officers will be stationed outside hospitals in Jefferson County.
The change comes as Gov. Andy Beshear asked local law enforcement and the National Guard in the state to have a presence at hospitals across the state, said Jean Porter, director of communications for Mayor Greg Fischer.
The move, Beshear said, is in preparation for hospitals as they get busier in the coming days. Currently, three major health care providers in Louisville have made plans to accommodate a surge in patients.
There is a white tent outside Norton Women's and Children's Hospital in St. Matthews where patients will first go when they have coronavirus symptoms.
A spokesperson for UofL Health said all emergency rooms have the ability to stand up triage tents as well. Baptist Health has suspended all visitation to reduce exposure to coronavirus as well.
WHAS11 received this statement from the Kentucky National Guard:
At the direction of Governor Andy Beshear and in conjunction with both local law enforcement agencies and hospital administrative staff, Kentucky National Guard Soldiers and Airmen will begin providing augmentation and presence support to hospitals across the state. Starting tomorrow, March. 26th, these Guardsmen will report to several of the local hospitals throughout the Louisville region to provide that support. Service members will be assigned to additional hospitals throughout the state in the coming days.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, resources across the state and country are being exhausted.
“The Kentucky National Guard is accustomed to working with the law enforcement agencies in our state,” said Brig. Gen. Rob Larkin, Assistant Adjutant General, Army, “from natural disasters to yearly high profile events like The Kentucky Derby, providing support to help increase the effectiveness of law enforcement is a task our force has conducted during both good times and under challenging conditions.”
With the intent of better enabling medical providers the ability to focus on patients, and law enforcement performing their assigned missions, Kentucky Guardsmen will ensure building and environmental safety while observing and reporting any behavior out of the ordinary or disruptive to the officer on duty.
“Our Soldiers and Airmen of the Kentucky National Guard are eager to serve our community, and the citizens of Kentucky during this trying time. We live here, and are invested in the success of our state getting past this pandemic quickly and efficiently.” Said Brig. Gen. Hal Lamberton, Kentucky's Adjutant General. “The hospitals are the front line in the fight against COVID-19. We proudly support this and all lines of efforts the Governor calls us to support, until this invisible enemy is defeated.”
Please note, these Soldiers and Airmen will practice safe hygiene and proper social distancing during their assignment.