LRN AM Newscall December 28

A Tulane epidemiologist says the alarming increase in COVID cases over the holiday weekend is indicative of how contagious the Omicron variant is.  Brooke Thorington has more.

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You’ll be required to wear a face mask if you need to visit a city building in Shreveport now due to the rapid increase in cases. Brooke Thorington has more.

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The state reported an alarming number of 12,164 new COVID cases over the holiday weekend. And with the availability of in-home COVID tests, Tulane Epidemiologist Dr. Susan Hassig says the number is even more concerning because it does not include positive at-home results.

Cut 3 (11) “….most clearly.” 

If you have tested positive at home, in addition to quarantining, Hassig encourages you to call the state’s contact tracing line, so we have a better idea of community spread and where we are seeing a spike in cases.

Hassig says it’s a testament to just how transmissible the Omicron variant is. In just a week COVID hospitalizations have doubled to 449 patients in Louisiana.  She says there’s typically a two-week delay when cases begin to rise to see an impact in hospitals and the uptick now is here cases were on the rise after Thanksgiving.

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The Omicron variant of COVID, Hassig says does have a different clinical presentation compared to the original virus and Delta.

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Hassig highly encourages you to use face masks in public settings, wash your hands frequently, and socially distance yourself. She says we are starting to see an uptick in flu and strep cases and COVID mitigation will help reduce exposure to those as well.


The City of Shreveport has reinstated the use of face masks in city buildings due to the rapid increase in COVID cases. Mayor Adrian Perkins issued the directive Monday and Perkins himself received a positive result for COVID after visiting one of LSU-Health Shreveport’s testing sites.

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Perkins conducted a phone interview from his home with LRN Monday and says he’s quarantining while relatives are in town visiting for Christmas.

The mayor says he reinstated the mask requirement for city buildings in hopes of reducing the spread of the extremely transmissible Omicron variant. Perkins says more mitigation measures could be added.

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With many people gathering for Christmas, health officials expect to see COVID cases and hospitalizations increase. Perkins says if you think for any reason, you might have been exposed to get tested.

Cut 8 (12) “… go and get tested.”

For a list of COVID testing sites visit


State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says the customers of two property insurers who were placed into receivership last month have found new coverage. Donelon says this will benefit some 30-thousand property owners covered under Access Home Insurance and under State National Fire Insurance…:

Cut 9 (06)  “…left behind.”

Mr. Donelon approved the transaction of policies several days ago, meaning those property owners will NOT have to resort to the state-owned insurer of last resort, Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance. That company’s rates are, by law, ten percent higher than the private market…:

Cut 10 (12)  “…were able to do.”

The deal now goes to the 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge, for approval today. The goal is to have the whole thing completed before Friday…:

Cut  11 (11)  “…on a seamless basis.”  

The new insurer (whose name has not yet been made public) will have the option to NOT renew policyholders who’ve been with Access or State National for less than three years.


Positive news from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, after four weeks of receiving 270 samples from deer across the state, they haven’t found any incidents of chronic wasting disease. LDWF began testing for CWD earlier this month when cases were reported across the state line in Union County, Arkansas. State Veterinarian Jim LaCour…

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LDWF received 96 samples from Union Parish and 16 from Morehouse Parish. Testing in those parishes was prioritized due to the proximity to the cases in Arkansas. LaCour says the samples were sent to the diagnostic testing lab at LSU.

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If you have participated in the sampling, LaCour says you can get the results of their sample on their website. The testing is free.

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The department wants to test at least 300 deer.


The Saints were missing 16 players from their active roster due to COVID-19 and it showed in last night’s game against Miami as they couldn’t match-up with the Dolphins and lost 20-3. Coach Sean Payton says they had guys on the field who never practiced with the team…

Cut 15 (15)  “…next week’s game.”

The Saints are hoping starting quarterback Taysom Hill will be back for Sunday’s game against Carolina. Rookie Ian Book started and threw a pick six on his second pass and was sacked eight times in his NFL debut. Payton says it’s hard to evaluate Book’s performance. because they struggled to keep him upright…

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Book threw for 135 yards and he was intercepted twice. The former Notre Dame star says the results were not what he wanted, but is thankful he got the opportunity…

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