12:30 LRN Newscast July 26

New Covid cases in Louisiana are just under 7,600 and hospitalizations increased over the weekend by 213 for a total of 1,221. Health officials say the highly transmissible delta variant and low vaccination rate are the blame.  On Friday the Governor issued a mask advisory and encouraged residents if they are ill to get tested and unvaccinated individuals to get vaccinated. For testing and vaccine sites visit LDH.LA.ORG forward slash coronavirus.

Effective today if you have to visit an Office of Motor Vehicles in Louisiana you will be required to wear a face mask to conduct business. OMV spokesperson Matthew Boudreaux says the ongoing surge in cases prompted them to return the use of face coverings once again.

Cut 12 (09) “…a mask”

He says to check ahead appointments at express lane-dot-org.

Most of the state is under a heat advisory today as Louisiana is dealing with its first lengthy heatwave of the summer. State Climatologist Barry Keim says a high-pressure system has settled in over the Gulf of Mexico, lowering rain chances and driving up the heat and humidity

Cut 6 (06) “….blazing sun.”

He says the real feel temperatures will soar past 100-degrees over the next few days

A second person has died this summer while tiki tubing on the Amite River in East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parishes.  Authorities say a Rapides Parish man got into waist-deep water on Saturday, slipped down, and struggled to come back to the surface. Central Mayor David Barrow says the area along the Amite has been an ongoing problem.

Cut 3 (11) “…it out.” 

In June, the father of LSU pitcher Ma’Khail Hilliard died while tubing on the Amite.