News for Wednesday July 29th, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The state reports 1125 new COVID cases Tuesday, the lowest daily case count in three weeks. Fatalities rose by 26 to 3,700. Hospitalizations are down by 17. Governor Edwards announced yesterday that the state is now number one in per capita new cases. Baton Rouge now has more cases of COVID-19 than New Orleans.
In a weekly report compiled by the White House Coronavirus Task Force, 51 Louisiana parishes, including all of Cenla, are being classified in a so-called ‘Red Zone’, suggesting further restrictions to help control the spread of COVID-19 in the state. For parishes in the ‘Red Zone,’ the White House Coronavirus Task Force suggested people wear a mask at all times outside the home and to limit gatherings to 10 people or fewer. The task force also suggests that public officials “close bars and gyms, and eliminate inside dining. It was thought going into the Governor’s press conference yesterday that he would announce more closures, however, he did not.
Louisiana’s COVID-19 testing has hit another hurdle with the turnaround time on getting results. Assistant Health Secretary Dr. Alex Billioux says the timeliness makes the difference in stopping the spread versus just adding numbers to the stats. Early in the pandemic, there was a lack of nasal swabs to conduct tests, but now Billioux says some labs are struggling with the supply chain for supplies need to process the tests.
The country’s second biggest teacher’s union threatens to back strikes in areas that are not doing enough to ensure school safety for teachers and students. That came from the American Federation of Teachers and their Louisiana Chapter President Larry Carter says in hotspots across Louisiana union members are actively discussing that as an option of last resort. The AFT earlier this month adopted a resolution backing the reopening of schools only in areas where the positivity rate for tests was under five percent. Over the past few weeks, the rate has hovered around ten percent but has recently dropped under eight percent.
The last 600-dollar weekly enhanced unemployment benefits are being sent out Friday, and the Louisiana Workforce Commission is encouraging those set to lose benefits to apply for a new job on the LWC website. Congress is currently debating whether to renew the benefits. Republicans are seeking to reduce it to 200 dollars a week, Democrats want to extend the 600 for the rest of the year. Unless the feds renew the enhanced benefits people receiving state unemployment will be capped at 247 dollars a week, and those receiving PUA assistance will be capped at 107 dollars a week.
Those looking for a job should visit laworks.net
The Louisiana Department of Revenue is busy reviewing applications and prepping to send out the first $250 frontline worker checks this week. Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Revenue Kimberly Robinson says if you are eligible there’s still time to apply. A variety of workers are eligible, for example, grocery clerks, garbage collectors, and healthcare workers, people who worked during the stay at home order and make less than $50-thousand a year. As of Tuesday, the department says they’ve received approximately 205-thousand applications for the Hazard Pay Rebate.
Pineville PD are looking for 39 year old Jason Maricle on multiple Charges after a fire yesterday afternoon on Edgewood Drive caused extensive damage to a home and injured two people. When fire fighters arrived at the scene, they located an unconscious male victim near the front of the house and a female victim nearby. They were both transported to a hospital. Their condition is unknown at this time.
Four bars are facing permit suspensions following noncompliance with Governor Edwards’ emergency order aimed at mitigating the spread of COVID-19. The permits are for the Sand Dollar Tiki Bar in Grand Isle, Frosty Factory in Lake Charles, Pelican Pub in Gonzales, and Wo-de’s Chill Spot in Harvey. Hearings are set for August 5th and 6th.
Former LSU Quarterback Joe Burrow has reportedly signed a four-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals worth 36-million dollars. And the deal includes a 24-million dollar signing bonus.
There’s some good news for those hoping we will see high school football this fall. The LHSAA will allow schools to hold seven on seven practices starting on Monday, but you can’t have more than 25 players involved in one group. Players can wear shoulder pads on August sixth and teams will be allowed to do more activities in larger groups once the state moves into phase three