News for Monday July 6th, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
State Health officials are reporting the number of Covid-19 cases in the state increased by just short of 2,000 over the weekend Saturday and Sunday. There have been 3,180 deaths so far in the state. Here in Rapides parish we saw 25 new reported cases of the virus and one new death.
The Fourth of July holiday weekend began Saturday with some sobering numbers in the Sunshine State: Florida logged a record number of people testing positive for the coronavirus. State health officials reported 11,445 new cases, a single-day record since the pandemic began earlier this year. The latest count brings the total number of cases in the state of Florida to more than 190,000.
On Friday a Boyce man has been arrested on multiple charges after a high-speed pursuit. Authorities say an officer with the Boyce Police Department witnessed a car being driven without headlights. When the officer attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver refused to pull over, leading to a high-speed pursuit. The driver was eventually stopped. The officer located, upon searching the vehicle, three pounds of Marijuana, 2k in cash and a scale. The driver, identified as 22-year-old Dezmon Eddie was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center.
An estimated 13 percent of Louisiana motorists are uninsured, and a Bogalousa Representative says increasing the minimum wage would lower that number.
The business lobby has never been a fan of raising the minimum, but Representative Malinda White says if the working poor got a living wage they could afford insurance, lowering rates for everyone. Tort reform advocates say recently passed legislation will lower rates by 10-15 percent, but if that number holds up Louisiana would still rank among the highest rates in the nation.
L'Auberge has reported it will lay off 441 workers at its Lake Charles casino. L’Auberge Baton Rouge is also set to lay off 161 workers. The company made the announcement to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, as the state's casinos struggle to rebound during the coronavirus. The LWF reports Casinos in Louisiana have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. By mid-August it’s anticipated about 4,000 casino workers will be laid off in Louisiana.
If you’ve had significant exposure to a person with COVID-19 but still test negative should you go back to work before your 14-day quarantine ends? Health experts say no. Ochsner Infectious Disease specialist Dr. Sandra Kemmerly says if you get exposed and immediately seek a COVID test the answer may not be helpful. Significant exposure is having contact with a COVID positive person within six feet for longer than 15 minutes. Kemmerly says that’s because the virus can take days, or even over a week to build up in your system enough to actually be detected by current tests. So if you are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days a negative COVID test does not release you from that quarantine.
The AARP indicates the state is not doing a good enough job with the basic COVID-19 precautions needed to stem the loss of life and protect residents and staff in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. AARP State Director Denise Bottcher says in recent weeks, the AARP has learned that about a third of facilities are not in compliance with regular testing of residents and staff, but non-compliance has been an issue for quite some time in different areas of cleanliness. The AARP also opposed any sort of immunity from accountability for facilities with issues linked to COVID-19.
Governor Edwards is expected to sign a bill placing an eight percent tax on net revenue from online fantasy sports wagering. Crowley Representative John Stefanski authored the legislation and says after it is signed into law, the gaming control board then has the ability to set rules. In 2018, voters in 47 of the 64 parishes legalized fantasy sports betting and have been waiting for lawmakers to pass the tax component in order to win cash prizes with services like FanDuel and DraftKings. Stefanski says those companies are standing by ready to implement regulation.