News for Thursday March 26th, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The state is now reporting 1,795 positive cases of COVID-19 and the death toll has reached 65. 23 of the 65 deaths are less than 60 years old. Louisiana now that the third-highest rate of confirmed cases per capita and yesterday saw the largest single-day rise in the state since the discovery of the first case just over two weeks ago. Governor Edwards calls the jump sobering and concerning.
The Bayou State is the fourth state to receive a federal disaster declaration due to the coronavirus. Governor Edwards requested the designation Tuesday night, adding Louisiana to a list that includes California, Washington, and New York.
Governor Edwards is looking for options to unburden hospitals before they reach overflow of COVID-19 patients. Edwards says an official decision is expected to be announced in the next day or two. An option is moving people who are COVID-19 positive but aren’t in critical condition out of the hospitals and into other isolation facilities to recover to free up more hospital rooms and intensive care units for patients in urgent need.
LSUA officials report a student at the university has tested positive COVID-19.
The student is only enrolled in one on-campus course, does not live on campus, and has not been on campus since March 9. The student is currently in self-isolation and is reportedly recovering well.
The White House and Senate leaders have agreed on a two-trillion dollar emergency funding bill that will provide cash to most Americans. Baton Rouge Congressman Garret Graves says the legislation calls for adults who make less than $75k annually to receive $1,200 check, Married couples with a household income under $150,000 will receive $2,400 and each child will receive $500.This particular legislation only calls for a one-time payment to citizens, but Graves says Congress isn’t ruling out the possibility of another payment in the future.
Officials with Ochsner New Orleans say they are treating 271 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and nearly 300 more patients who potentially have the virus. Ochsner CEO Warner Thomas says not only are they seeing more COVID-19 patients but their stay in the hospital is more extended.
Schools have been shut down for a week and a half and will remain that way through at least April 13. The federal government has already granted the state’s request to suspend end-of-year testing and school and district performance scores. Governor Edwards says it’s upsetting that kids are not in school, but keeping children at home will help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
LSU Health Shreveport opens a COVID-19 test processing lab that at peak capacity will be able to process 1,000 tests a day with a turnaround of only 24-48 hours. Currently, the turnaround is more like 3 to 5 days. Chief Innovation Officer Drew Mouton says the team has been pulling 18 to 20-hour days to get the facility online. The lab will not gather samples on-site; it has samples shipped to them from other locations.