THE NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS CASES IN LOUISIANA HAVE SKYROCKETED. CAROLINE MARCELLO HAS MORE.
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New unemployment benefit claims are rising to levels unseen in recent U.S. history as a result of coronavirus concerns. States have reported receiving tens of thousands of new claims for unemployment insurance last week. Official figures are to be released today, and some economists project that new claims could reach 3 million nationwide. Some laid-off workers have encountered delays in filing claims because of overloaded websites and phone systems.
LAFAYETTE PARISH’S ECONOMY HAS TAKEN A MAJOR HIT WITH THE PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS AND, ON TOP OF THAT, THE PRICE OF OIL IS BELOW 1986 LEVELS, ACCORDING TO GREGG GOTHREAUX OF THE LAFAYETTE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY. LAFAYETTE MAYOR PRESIDENT JOSH GUILLORY SAYS UNEMPLOYMENT IS AT HISTORICALLY LOW LEVELS WITH THIRTY-FOUR HUNDRED PEOPLE FILING UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS LAST WEEK. HE URGES THOSE WHO’VE LOST THEIR JOB OR BUSINESSES STRUGGLING TO MAKE PAYROLL TO GO TO THE WEBSITE, LAFAYETTE-DOT-ORG-SLASH-COVID, FOR RESOURCES TO MAKE IT THROUGH. HE SAYS THAT IF YOU DON’T ACT NOW, YOU MAY BE LEFT BEHIND.
A COVID-NINETEEN TESTING SITE WILL OPEN THIS AFTERNOON AT BURTON COLISEUM IN LAKE CHARLES FROM ONE TO THREE. THE SITE IS FOR RESIDENTS OF CALCASIEU PARISH AS WELL AS JEFF DAVIS, CAMERON, ALLEN, AND BEAUREGARD PARISHES. TO BE ELIGIBLE, YOU MUST HAVE A FEVER OF OVER ONE HUNDRED-POINT-FOUR, AND HAVE EITHER A COUGH OR SHORTNESS OF BREATH, AND HAVE A HIGH RISK CONDITION, INCLUDING BEING OVER SIXTY-YEARS-OLD. TESTING WILL RESUME NEXT WEEK AT BURTON COLISEUM BETWEEN TUESDAY AND THURSDAY FROM NINE TO THREE EACH DAY.
THE MAYOR OF RAYNE IS ASKING RESIDENTS TO NOT USE DISPOSABLE WIPES. WITH THE SHORTAGE OF TOILET PAPER, MANY PEOPLE HAVE STARTED USING THE WIPES, BUT MIKE JUDICE OF THE RAYNE WATER AND SEWER DEPARTMENT SAYS THEY’VE BEEN HAVING TO UNCLOG PIPES SEVERAL TIMES BECAUSE OF THEM. MAYOR CHUCK ROBICHAUX SAYS THE WIPES DON’T BREAK DOWN LIKE TOILET PAPER AND, WHEN THEY SNAG ON SOMETHING, IT CAUSES A BUILDUP. SO HE’S ASKING RESIDENTS TO ONLY FLUSH TOILET PAPER EVEN IF THE WIPE CANISTER SAYS IT’S FLUSHABLE.
THE SCHOOL BOARDS IN ACADIA AND CALCASIEU PARISHES ARE AWAITING APPROVAL TO BE PART OF A PROGRAM THAT WOULD SEND “SHELF STABLE, EASILY PREPARED MEALS” DIRECTLY TO THE HOMES OF STUDENTS VIA U-P-S. THE SCHOOL BOARDS ARE ASKING PARENTS TO SEND EMAILS TO THEIR RESPECTIVE LUNCH PROGRAMS PROVIDING THEIR ADDRESSES, THEIR CONSENT TO RECEIVE THE MEALS, AND HOW MANY STUDENTS ARE IN THE HOME. THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION HAS NOT YET LET THE PARISHES KNOW WHEN THE PROGRAM WOULD START. ACADIA PARISH STOPPED PROVIDING GRAB AND GO MEALS THIS WEEK.
A BODY WAS FOUND IN HEYMANN PARK IN LAFAYETTE YESTERDAY AFTERNOON. THE BODY WAS A BLACK MALE AND IT WAS FOUND AT AROUND ONE-THIRTY. NO FOUL PLAY IS SUSPECTED. HOWEVER, POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING IT AS A SUSPICIOUS DEATH.
A federal court has ruled the amount of money paid to the family of a 22-year-old Louisiana man, who died in a sheriff’s patrol car, must be made public. The unanimous ruling Monday by a federal appeals court will unseal how much taxpayer money was paid in a lawsuit against the Iberia Parish Sheriff in the death of Victor White III. White’s death was ruled a suicide after he died from a gunshot wound while handcuffed in the back of a patrol car. The decision comes nearly two years after a judge refused attempts by local media outlets to unseal the settlement.