News for Monday March 30th, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
President Donald Trump says his administration is extending their guidelines on social distancing until April 30, after stating the COVID-19 death rate in the U.S. would likely hit a peak in two weeks.
President Trump signed an unprecedented $2.2 trillion economic relief package into law Friday after a near-unanimous action by Congress to support businesses, rush resources to overburdened health care providers and help struggling families during the deepening coronavirus epidemic. As of the latest report, there are 3540 Cases of the virus in the state, 151 people have died and 1,127 Hospitalized with 380 of them on Ventilators.
The growing number of cases of COVID-19 in the state and especially in the New Orleans area prompts the need for additional healthcare workers and the state in the process of opening a 1,120-bed facility at the Morial Convention Center. The Governor is asking healthcare students and recent grads along with retired nurses and doctors to volunteer for the fight against coronavirus, and fast-tracking new licenses to get them into the field. Volunteers can sign up at COVID-19LAvolunteers.org.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Sunday announced orders restricting travel to Texas from certain COVID-19 hot spots including Louisiana. Abbott said road traveling coming into Texas from Louisiana will be restricted to those handling essential services. Anyone else coming in will be required to self-quarantine for two weeks. The mandate will be enforced by the Texas Department of Public Safety at entry points into the state.
Governor Edwards is begging the public to stay indoors and to not congregate after the state saw several reports of mass gatherings over the weekend in defiance of state orders. Edwards says it’s not an easy situation but the public needs to comply, and understand we could be enduring this past the initially estimated April 13th reopening of the state. Louisiana currently has the second-highest COVID-19 mortality rate per capita of any state in the country.
Gov. John Bel Edwards announced on Saturday the death of 33-year-old staff member April Dunn who succumbed to complications from COVID-19. April Dunn served in the Governor's Office of Disability Affairs
Unemployment applications continue to inundate the Louisiana Workforce Commission. Executive Director Ava Dejoie says the department has had a total of roughly 136-thousand claims come in over the last two weeks. Dejoie says the best way to file is still online at louisianaworks.net and recommends that filers practice some patience with the process.
Louisiana Economic Development opens a COVID-19 Help Desk that will provide information for businesses on what the federal $2.2 trillion emergency relief bill means for them. LED Secretary Don Pierson says businesses can find out info online at opportunitylouisiana.com.
Our Lady of the Lake infectious disease specialist Catherine O’Neal says since a vaccine for the Covid-19 could be over a year away, our best hope to stop coronavirus is for people to slowly build up “herd immunity”. When you get a virus and recover, you make antibodies that prevent you from getting the virus again for a period of time. O’Neal says because 80 percent of cases are mild or asymptomatic. She warns we do not currently know how long those anti-bodies will last once formed. O’Neal says she expects even with social distancing and shelter in place orders in effect, a majority of Louisianans are still expected to catch the coronavirus.
With new hospital restrictions limiting visitors due to the coronavirus outbreak, some expectant mothers are seeking alternatives and reaching out to midwives. Kyra Kana (Con-yah) of The Natural Birth House in Broussard says they’ve seen an increase in the number of new patients. To locate a midwife Kana recommends social media and the Louisiana Midwives Association Facebook Page.