A staffer in the press office of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has tested positive for COVID-19. Edwards’ office said Thursday that about a dozen staffers are now in self-quarantine. Edwards himself is not in isolation. Epidemiologists determined he wasn’t at risk because he had not been in close contact with the staffer. Louisiana continues to see a surge in coronavirus cases. Today there are One thousand, seven hundred, twenty-eight more cases, pushing the total past sixty-three thousand. There are twenty-three more deaths. The total is three thousand, one hundred seventy. Hospitalizations increased by twelve and there are two more patients on ventilators.
HOSPITALIZATIONS ARE AT A RECORD HIGH IN ACADIANA. YESTERDAY THERE WERE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-SIX PEOPLE IN HOSPITALS WITH COVID-NINTEEN, UP FROM FIFTY-FOUR TWO WEEKS AGO. ACADIANA CONTINUES TO HAVE A HIGH DAILY CASELOAD WITH THREE HUNDRED FIVE MORE PEOPLE DIAGNOSED WITH THE CORONAVIRUS. LAFAYETTE AND IBERIA PARISH HAVE HAD A POSITIVE TEST RATES ABOVE TEN PERCENT FOR SEVEN STRAIGHT DAYS, NOT INCLUDING TODAY. THE TOTAL FOR THE REGION IS JUST ABOVE SEVEN THOUSAND. THERE FIVE MORE DEATHS REPORTED IN THE REGION. THAT INCLUDES TWO EACH IN ACADIA AND ST. MARTIN PARISHES AND ONE MORE IN LAFAYETTE PARISH. THE TOTAL FOR THE REGION IS TWO HUNDRED SIXTY.
SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA NOW HAS MORE THAN THREE THOUSAND OVERALL CASES INCLUDING TWO THOUSAND IN CALCASIEU PARISH. THERE ARE ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-EIGHT MORE CASES REPORTED TODAY. THE REGION SAW NO NEW DEATHS. THE TOTAL REMAINS AT EIGHTY-EIGHT.
COVID-NINETEEN IS FORCING THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA AT LAFAYETTE TO MAKE SOME CHANGES TO ITS FALL SEMESTER CALENDAR. CAROLINE MARCELLO HAS THE DETAILS.
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A LAKE CHARLES FIREFIGHTER WHO CONTRACTED COVID-NINETEEN HAS PUT UP A FACEBOOK POST FROM HER HOSPITAL BED, WARNING PEOPLE TO TAKE THE CORONAVIRUS SERIOUSLY. CHERI ARDOIN SAYS SHE DIDN’T BEFORE BECAUSE SHE’S AN ATHLETE WHO PARTICIPATES IN CROSSFIT COMPETITIONS, BUT, THREE WEEKS AGO, SHE BEGAN GETTING SICK AND HAS SINCE BEEN IN THE HOSPITAL TWICE. SHE SAYS HER SECOND VISIT WAS AFTER SHE BEGAN COUGHING UP BLOOD AND HAD CHEST PAINS, BUT SHE’S HOPEFUL SHE’LL BE ABLE TO RETURN HOME SOON. ARDOIN SAYS SHE WISHES SHE’D BEEN MORE CAREFUL AROUND FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHEN SHE WAS AWAITING TEST RESULTS SAYING THE HARDEST PART IS CALLING THEM TO LET THEM KNOW SHE WAS THE ONE THAT INFECTED THEM.
Sentencing is being delayed for the man who pleaded guilty to setting fires last year at three historic Black churches in St. Landry Parish. Holden Matthews had been set for sentencing in federal court in Lafayette later this month. But court records show the sentencing has been rescheduled for Oct. 16 — after courthouse restrictions related to the new coronavirus expire. Matthews pleaded guilty in February to state and federal charges. Matthews is white and the destruction of the Black churches evoked memories of civil rights-era terrorism. But the charges against Matthews said the churches were burned because of their “religious character.”
A FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD BOY WAS SHOT IN THE OVERNIGHT HOURS IN CROWLEY AFTER TWO SUSPECTS ATTEMPTED TO ROB HIM. POLICE CHIEF JIMMY BROUSSARD SAYS THE BOY WAS WALKING IN THE SIXTEEN HUNDRED BLOCK OF NORTH AVENUE I WHEN THE TWO SUSPECTS APPROACHED. THE BOY HAD SOME HOT COFFEE THAT HE THREW AT THE SUSPECTS AND WAS SHOT IN THE BACK WHILE RUNNING AWAY. HE IS EXPECTED TO MAKE A FULL RECOVERY AFTER SURGERY. POLICE ARE STILL SEARCHING FOR THE SUSPECTS.