Gov. Edwards & Experts hold roundtable discussion to address Covid-19

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BATON ROUGE, La. (03/23/2020) — Just two weeks ago, Louisiana had no reported cases of the coronavirus but the state now has over a thousand.

“We shouldn’t dilute ourselves it’s in every single parish. We need to beat this virus. The only chance we have of doing that is if we flatten the curve and the best chance that we have at doing that is through the shelter at home order that I issued Sunday,” said Governor John Bel Edwards.

Louisiana has the highest growth rate per capita across the world seeing numbers on par with Italy and Spain.

“We won’t know really for another week or so of the measures that we can all take and should be taking now are going to have the desired effect of reducing the spread of the coronavirus,” said Alexander Billioux with the Louisiana Department of Health.

“A vaccine is at least a year away because just like medications we have to study the vaccine, make sure it’s safe and effective before we give it out.”

Catherine Smith O’Neal, M.D. Our Lady of the Lake Hospital

While many are wondering how they’ll get paid, the governor says the priority is limiting the spread.

“Well I can’t freeze the bills, but I can do is make sure that we’re not going to allow people to go forward with evictions and foreclosures. We still encourage people to pay those bills if you can.”

Governor John Bel Edwards

Experts say those who may have once not been eligible for Medicaid and SNAP, but have recently been laid off, may now fit the guidelines. The state is working with small businesses through SBA loans, sales tax extensions, and partnerships to keep them afloat.

They’re also working to get much needed medical supplies to the state.

Parents are also encouraged to do what they can to keep students on track and the state will evaluate grade placement once the outbreak is contained. As for high school and college seniors…

“We will make sure they will not be a footnote in this pandemic, we will celebrate those students at the right time.”6

Kim Hunter Reed PHD, LA Commissioner of Higher Ed

We don’t pretend that we have all the answers, but what I can tell you that everybody is working nonstop,” said Governor Edwards.


BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — Governor John Bel Edwards will hold a live state-wide broadcast to discuss Louisiana’s response to COVID-19. See the full discussion below.

Edwards, along with health experts and members of his administration, will go live on Monday, March 23 from 7-8 pm. You’ll be able to watch the broadcast on-air on KTVE, on Facebook, and right here on this article.

We know that the public has many questions about COVID-19, and we want to be responsive and responsible by giving them factual information as they make adjustments for new ways of living during this crisis. Some of the information will be new and some will reiterate what we have shared before and all of it will help further underscore the seriousness of this outbreak, what we can all do to help reduce the spread and the resources available to help our communities, our people and our businesses. I’m grateful to LPB and the television and radio stations statewide who are using their platforms to help educate our citizens and make our state as safe as possible. We will get through this by working together and heading the necessary precautions.

Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Topics of discussion will include:

  • The latest updates on positive cases in Louisiana
  • Understanding testing for COVID-19 and the state’s capacity
  • Resources that are available for businesses that are impacted as well as those who are either out of work or have had their work hours reduced
  • How the K-12 and Higher Education systems are responding
  • Resources for at-home learning, as well as mental health help that is available

Members of the public are encouraged to submit questions for the panel to: lpb.org/questions.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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