Corrected LRN AM Newscall April 1

Gig economy workers such as Uber and Lyft drivers have been given the green light to eligibility to apply for unemployment assistance from the Louisiana Workforce Commission. Kevin Barnhart has the story.

Cut 1 (29) “I’m Kevin Barnhart”


The 54 new COVID-19 deaths reported yesterday were by far the largest total of deaths the state has seen in any 24 hour period. Matt Doyle has reaction from the Governor…

Cut 2 (30) “…Matt Doyle ” 


The District Attorney is now faced with prosecuting Rev. Tony Spell of Life Tabernacle Church in Central for violating the Governor’s Proclamtion. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 3 (30)  “…I’m Brooke Thorington”  


The Louisiana Workforce Commission has given the green light to eligibility for gig economy workers such as Uber and Lyft drivers to apply for unemployment assistance.  LWC executive director Ava Dejoie says if someone has recently applied and been denied, for being a 1099 employee, waiter or waitress, or rideshare driver, eligibility will be retroactive.

Cut  4 (10)_ “…of your filing”

Dejoie says the funds aren’t available to pay out to applicants yet as LWC has not received the money from the feds.

Cut 5 (05)  “…no longer working.”

Dejoie says there is no rush for filing as the payments will be retroactive to when employment was halted.

Cut 6 (12) “…process for everyone”


Louisiana reported its biggest increase in COVID-19 cases and related deaths in a 24 hours period yesterday, evidence that the state has yet to begin flattening the curve. 1,212 new positive tests were reported and 54 deaths. Governor John Bel Edwards says for those who haven’t been socially distancing…

Cut 7 (07) “…right now”

Edwards adds that the state has doubled its total number of cases and use of ventilators since March 26th.

The new numbers put the state above 5,000 total cases. Edwards says the jump in cases and deaths is alarming.

Cut 8 (09) “…gets.”

The New Orleans region is now on pace to run out of ventilators by April 4th, and hospital beds by April 7th.

The Governor says these numbers are likely the result of infections that occurred before the statewide stay at home order, so there may be some good news coming soon.

Cut 9 (09) “days″

Rev Tony Spell of Life Tabernacle Church in Central was issued a summons Tuesday on six counts of violating of the Governor’s order of large gatherings. East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore says even though Spell wasn’t taken into custody it serves the same as an arrest.  Moore says when the governor issues such orders violators can be penalized.

Cut 10 (08) “…calls for.”

Central Police Chief Roger Corcoran issued the summons on Tuesday after Rev Spell continued to hold services at the church in which congregation averaged 11-hundred members. Moore explains why Spell received six counts.

Cut 11 (11) “…different days.”

Rev. Spell will be formally charged today but due to the virus the courts are suspended temporarily, and Moore says when a hearing will be held remains to be seen.

Cut 12 (07) “…arraignment”


There’s widespread frustration about how long it can take to get results back for a coronavirus test, but at the Tulane Medical Center Laboratories tests only take four hours.

Medical Director Dr. Byron Crawford says initially the only FDA approved test was a manual procedure, but the feds recently OK’d a new procedure using equipment Tulane has on-site.

Cut 13 (07) “…hours.”

They run tests in two batches a day for a total of about 200 tests a day for patients who go to University Medical Center or Tulane Medical Center.

Crawford says this kind of equipment is vital because it allows hospitals to quickly process which patients have COVID-19, and which don’t.

Cut 14 (11) “…equipment.”

Crawford says he’s confident this kind of technology will be widely available to other medical centers, and soon.

Cut 15 (08)“…patients”

The project is a joint venture by Tulane, LSU School of Medicine, Children’s Medical Center, and UMC, with the equipment provided by Roche.