News for Wednesday April 1st, 2020
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Louisiana saw by far its largest jump in total cases and new COVID-19 related deaths in a 24 hours period yesterday, evidence that the state has yet to begin flattening the curve. 1,212 new positive tests were reported and 54 deaths occurred in just a 24 hour period from mid-Sunday to min-Monday. Governor Edwards says for those who haven’t been socially distancing need to start now! The new numbers put the state above 5,000 total cases. Edwards says the jump in cases and deaths is alarming. Here In Rapides Parish the death rate rose to three yesterday.
Governor John Bel Edwards plans to extend his stay at home order until April 30th, which means schools will remain closed for at least the next month. The state has already waived standardized tests for this year, but what if school does not resume this year. How can you decide if a child should be promoted to the next grade or if they are eligible to graduate high school? Edwards says the state department of education is trying to figure out those questions…
Due to the critically low blood supply right now, LSUA will be partnering with LifeShare Blood Center to host a blood drive. The drive will take place today from 10:00am to 2:00pm, or until all donors are finished at the LSUA Allied Health Building at 807 Jackson Street..
The Louisiana Workforce Commission has given the green light to eligibility for gig economy workers such as Uber and Lyft drivers to apply for unemployment assistance. LWC executive director Ava Dejoie says if someone has recently applied and been denied, for being a 1099 employee, waiter or waitress, or rideshare driver, eligibility will be retroactive.
Legislators returned to the state capitol Tuesday, introduced some bills and left about an hour later. It’s unclear when they’ll return. House Speaker Clay Schexnayder says because of the uncertainty around the COVID-19 outbreak, they are not setting a return date. The 2020 legislative session must conclude by June 1st and a budget must be approved by July 1st.
Due to Louisiana’s hotbed of COVID-19 cases, Texas’s Governor is attempting to mitigate the spread with a mandate requiring quarantine for Louisiana travelers coming into the Lone Star State. Louisiana State Police Trooper Dustin Dwight says anyone who has a previously scheduled medical trip along with a few other exemption statuses can skip the quarantine. So far, no checkpoints have been set up along the Texas State Line.
Legal ramifications have come down on Rev. Tony Spell, the pastor at the helm of the Life Tabernacle Church in Central that has repeatedly defied the Governor’s ban on large gatherings with congregations regularly exceeding 1,100. Central Police Chief Roger Corcoran says Spell was arrested yesterday and charged with six counts of violation of the emergency order. Rev. Spell though went ahead with an evening religious service Tuesday night just hours after city police cited him over allegations he violated a state order to limit crowd sizes during an outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
AARP Louisiana is holding a Telephone Town Hall Meeting This Morning to answer seniors concerns about the coronavirus. State Director Denise Bottcher says Dr. Benjamin Springgate with LSU Health Sciences will be on the call to answer health-related questions. Bottcher says LaVonda Dobbs of 211 will also be on the call to speak about services that are available to seniors. The call is open for anyone to participate in. To do so you call 1-877-229-8493. It will take place at 10:10 am.
The Bonnet Carre Spillway could be opened as soon as Friday to divert part of the Mississippi River's flow into Lake Pontchartrain, thanks to continued heavy rains along the mid-Mississippi and Ohio River basins that are expected to raise the river to 17.1 feet in New Orleans by April 11. The Army Corps of Engineers will make a decision on opening the spillway by Friday.
During an interview on ESPN’s morning television show “Get Up”, Saints Coach Sean Payton said 2020 will be Drew Brees final season. Brees signed a two-year contract earlier this month, but the final year on the deal is voidable. Payton says back-up Taysom Hill views himself as a starting Q-B and so do the Saints.
NFL owners voted Tuesday to expand the number of playoff teams to 14, one additional team from each conference will get in the postseason. The team with the best record in each league will get a first-round bye. So on wildcard weekend, there will be three playoff games Saturday and three more Sunday.
And the NFL’s president and general counsel Jeff Pash said Yesterday it’s there expectation that the season will start on time, with fans in the stands, despite the global coronavirus pandemic. They plan to release a full schedule by May 9th.
NCAA President Mark Emmert announces that he and his top executives will take a 20-percent pay cut as a result of lost revenues. Last week the NCAA announced that its distribution to Division One schools this year will go from 600 million dollars to 225 million dollars.