5:30 LRN Newscast Dec 24

The state says they believe 84 percent of the COVID-19 cases diagnosed in Louisiana during the week that ended Saturday are from the Omicron variant. The omicron percentage compares to federal estimates of 92% for the region which is made up of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

The nationwide average is 73-percent.

It will be anything BUT a white Christmas for Louisiana this year, as temperatures are expected to rise to near-record highs for this time of year. State Climatologist Barry Keim says, hold off on the coats and mittens; you won’t need them this weekend. And while it’s cold in Minnesota and the Dakotas…:

Cut 6 (08) “…humid.”

But on a positive note, the weather is ideal for kids to try out their new bicycles and for outdoor gatherings with the Omicron variant so prevalent.

Rookie Ian Book will make his first professional start at quarterback on Monday when the Saints host the Dolphins. With fellow Q-Bs Taysom Hill and Trevor Simien both on the COVID list, New Orleans is bringing in former Jaguars starting quarterback Blake Bortles to serve as Book’s backup.

Governor John Bel Edwards will take a little bit of time away from his executive duties to enjoy the Christmas holiday. Mr. Edwards says he has some plans to relax indoors…:

Cut 12 (06) “…the holiday period.”

The Governor says he’ll also find some time to do what fellow sportsmen do in the Sportsman’s Paradise…:

Cut 13 (07) “…gonna be great!”