News for Friday March 27th, 2020
Compiled By Dave Graichen
The total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States has now surpassed the total number of cases in China, the country that previously had the most people sick due to the coronavirus.
At the county or parish level, Orleans Parish now leads the nation in per capita deaths, more than twice as many as the 2nd highest county. The 46 coronavirus linked deaths in the parish add up to roughly 1 in 10,000 residents. That’s as the state total rose to 83 fatalities Thursday and 2,305 total positive tests.
Governor Edwards sounds the alarm about the increasingly alarming situation in the New Orleans area, saying current projections show the region’s medical system running out of ventilators by late next week, and out of hospital beds by the week after that.
This information has led him to authorize turning the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans into a stand-up hospital, aiming to eventually house 1,120 beds at the location at peak capacity. 676 COVID patients in the state are in the hospital, 239 on ventilators.
5th District Congressman Ralph Abraham, a doctor currently doing volunteer shifts at a clinic in his native Richland Parish, to call for the expanded use of experimental drugs like the oft-talked about anti-malarial Hydroxychloroquine (hy dorxy cloro keen). The President has also touted the treatment, but small scale studies of the drug on COVID-19 patients have yielded mixed results.
A Pineville man is in custody and another man is wanted in relation to a kidnapping incident in the 100 block of Sunset in Alexandria on Thursday evening. According to APD, witnesses claim that 23 year old Darius Mitchell, armed with a handgun, forced a victim into a red vehicle and left the area. APD, with assistance from the Pineville Police Department, eventually located the victim and a second suspect, 22 year old Jammie Simmons in Pineville. The victim had minor injuries. Simmons was charged with second-degree kidnapping.A warrant has been issued for Mitchell. If anyone has any information on his whereabouts, please contact APD
Parts of the state could see record highs today, and that’s led some armchair virologists to speculate that the state could see a dip in COVID-19 cases as a result. Our Lady of the Lake infectious disease specialist Catherine O’Neal says that’s a dubious claim that’s not supported by research. Some of the misinformation about potential dips in COVID rates over the summer likely stems from false assumptions that it behaves like Influenza. O’Neal says that’s not the case. That means we’re unlikely to be bailed out of this pandemic just because of a change in seasons.
As the coronavirus forces the economy into a freefall, oil and gas prices continue to drop. Patrick DeHann, Head Petroleum Analyst with Gas Buddy dot com says the average price for a gallon of gas in Louisiana is currently $1.85, with speculation that the price could drop as much as another 50 cents in the coming months.
Saints QB Drew Brees and his wife committed $5 million dollars to help feed Louisiana residents who are struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Second Harvest Food Bank President and CEO Natalie Jayroe says Second Harvest currently has the ability to crank out 2,000 meals per day and the contribution will help to increase that number.
Four people in Baton Rouge have died after a car traveling at a high rate of speed crashed into a house. A two-year-old in the vehicle is one of the victims. Two other people in the car died and a person inside the home was also killed.
In addition, protecting the community the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office is now offering to pick up and deliver groceries to at-risk members of the community who can’t leave their homes due to the coronavirus. Public Information Officer Mathew Henderson says the response has been tremendous so far and the deputies say they enjoy it too…
Cleco announced on Thursday that it had donated $1,500 to Louisiana College to support the college’s efforts to make face shields for health care facilities that are facing supply shortages amid the Corona Virus Disease outbreak. The shields are being made with the assistance of 3-D printers, which take about an hour and 15 minutes to complete each shield. Cleco states that is donation will help make about 300 face shields.
KALB Reporting Last Night With the spread of COVID-19, the Food Bank of Central Louisiana is still open and fully operational at this time. The Food Bank is distributing boxes Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until noon and again from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at their location on Baldwin Avenue. The Food Bank is now incorporating a drive-through style pick up. When you drive up, you won't even have to leave your vehicle. Volunteers will load everything into the car for you. If you're interested in getting set up at the Food Bank and have never gotten food from them before, all you need to do is call and fill out an application. Don’t need food? A donation would be most welcome.
The Pelicans are trying to adjust to life under the threat of COVID-19 and maintain the momentum that had them challenging for the 8th seed before the season was suspended. Pelicans VP of Basketball Operations David Griffin says things were going well until the NBA closed all practice facilities last Thursday. Griffin expects the Pelicans haven’t played their last game this year and says he hopes fans get to see the conclusion of what’s been an encouraging first season with the new-look team.