News for Wednesday August 5th, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Louisiana will remain in Phase Two and the mask mandate and bar closure order will remain in effect for at least another three weeks. Governor Edwards says the White House coronavirus task force recommends that the state keeps its mitigation measures in place. But he says there is encouraging news, the number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital is on the decline. There are currently 1,487 COVID-19 patients in the hospital statewide.
In case you are wondering.. these are the official guidelines on Phase Two.
Everyone ages 8 and older must wear a mask or face covering outside of their home.
All bars will be closed unless providing curbside pickup.
Indoor social gatherings are limited to 50 people.
Businesses can open at 50 percent occupancy, with the exception of bars
Casinos and video poker establishments may operate at 50 percent occupancy, but are limited to 75 percent of their gaming positions, with spacing for social and enhanced sanitation.
The following businesses remain closed:
Carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, fairs, contact sports, children’s indoor play centers, arcades, trampoline parks, theme parks, concert and music halls and similar businesses.
Live entertainment is not permitted inside at public functions
KALB reports, at last night’s meeting, the Rapides Parish School Board approved a motion that will allow school-based health centers to perform COVID-19 testing. Testing will be done through Trinity Health Care, which provides 16 school-based health centers in Rapides Parish schools. Eight of these health centers will be rapid (or quick response) testing sites for students and school employees. Tests must be requested by parents or school employees at their discretion. If a test is requested and that individual’s school does not serve as a testing site, they’ll have to get the test done at the nearest school that does serve as a testing site. Anyone with a positive test will be placed in a “sick room” (or isolation) until they’re picked up.
Assistant Health Secretary Dr. Alex Billioux says the state is having some difficulties getting results from the COVID contract tracing program. Billioux told reporters today that labs are not providing adequate contact info for a third of all COVID positive people, and that of those they can get in contact with 70 percent are not informing contact tracers who they potentially could have infected.
Governor John Bel Edwards says the state is looking into further actions to be taken against a Livingston Parish restaurant has been in operation despite having its food permit revoked for blatant defiance of spread mitigation efforts including a lack of mask-wearing for customers and employees as well as social distancing. Edwards encourages all business owners to understand that the immunity from civil liability for contracting coronavirus at private-sector establishments is not available to those not following CDC guidelines.
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry receives the state’s first reported case of a dog testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans. Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says the dog, like most animals that test positive for the virus, was not sick. Animals can show symptoms though as some suffer from mild respiratory or gastrointestinal issues. Strain says the virus usually resolves quicker in dogs than with humans. But Strain recommends that if an animal does test positive for the virus that it is quarantined with the owner.
State Treasurer John Schroder estimates about 10,000 small businesses have completed an application for Main Street Recovery grants, but they’re running into some issues and misconceptions from applicants. The Treasurer says there’s also been misunderstanding about who can apply. One, you can apply if you received federal aid and two, the program is not just for minorities. Those who qualify can receive up to 15,000 dollars in no-strings-attached cash to help offset COVID related costs and interruptions. Applicants must have fewer than 50 employees to be eligible.
A Baton Rouge man arrested Tuesday is accused of making his three young children help him manufacture and sell drugs. Baton Rouge police started investigating after reports that Kevin Evans Jr.'s 10-year-old son had been shot in the hand and leg during a drug deal. Evans brought the child to the hospital for treatment but only after, police say, he hid his drugs. Evans' girlfriend was also arrested and accused of helping him in the drug business.
Legendary coach D-D Breaux announced today she’s retiring after 43 years as the leader of LSU women’s gymnastics program. Breaux is not completely leaving LSU as she’s been named as an ambassador for LSU, so she plans to be involved in a lot of different community service projects…
Preseason practice for LSU football was set to begin on Friday, but since the start of the regular season has been pushed back, the SEC announced today that the first allowable practice is now August 17th.
The Sun Belt Conference announced Tuesday its football season will begin over the Labor Day Weekend. The league says they will have an eight-game conference schedule and each school can play up to four non-conference games, beginning with week zero. The Sun Belt also plans on holding a championship game on December 5th.