News for Thursday March 12th, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a worldwide pandemic. Louisiana now has 13 presumptive cases of COVID-19, a number that’s ballooned from just one reported case Monday. The elderly are at risk for the most devastating impacts of coronavirus. With that in mind, The Louisiana Nursing Home Association is asking the public not to visit nursing facilities across the state until further notice, in order to limit potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
Cases of the virus are now being found around the state and Office of Public Health Assistant Secretary Alex Billioux says it appears people are now contracting the illness within Louisiana.
COVID-19 was the talk of the Capitol yesterday as the Senate Health and Welfare Committee questioned the State health officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry. Guidry and other health officials at the meeting begged business owners to prepare work-from-home options, and to not pressure workers into coming in sick. Guidry says know that your workforce is likely to shrink…
The nationwide spread prompted a historic decision by the NCAA to bar fans from attending all Men’s and Women’s NCAA tournament games, including the Women’s final four set for April 3rd and fifth in New Orleans.
Tulane, Loyola, and UNO have also announced they are transitioning to online teaching.
The NBA has confirmed its season has been suspended after a player has tested positive on Wednesday for coronavirus.
Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser is criticizing New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrel’s decision to cancel several city events, including the St. Patrick’s Day Parade set to roll this weekend. Nungesser says until the Governor or feds call for events to be canceled such a declaration is only going to hurt the tourism industry, and tell tourists that Louisiana is not open for business.
With the cancellation of those New Orleans events there’s growing interest in whether or not other major festivals like French Quarter, or Jazz Fest, would also be axed. State Health Officer Jimmy Guidry says those events and more are being looked at.
Lawmakers in D.C. are considering their options for potential economic stimulus if coronavirus fears lead to a prolonged economic slowdown. President Trump has floated the idea of a substantial payroll tax cut. Senator Bill Cassidy says they haven’t seen any firm plans for it yet, and he’s unsure about the idea. There are growing fears the lack of sick days and hourly pay of the service industry could result in sick workers spreading the virus because they can’t afford to miss work. Cassidy says that’s a real concern.
The state will be receiving $7.8 million in funding in support of the COVID-19 response. The funds are part of a national funding package signed last week.
Parks Senator Fred Mills files legislation to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21, which would align state law with the federal law that was enacted in December 2019. Mills says the clock is ticking to comply with the federal legislation. The federal law holds retailers responsible for underage sales, and applies to vape sales as well.
A Baton Rouge woman accused of stealing a truck with a dog inside and then abandoning the vehicle on a hot summer day, resulting in the canine dying, has pleaded to several criminal charges. 30-year-old Leslie Aguillard will be sentenced in June.
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