AM Newscall 04/23/2020

Festival International de Louisiane in Lafayette will be shifting to a virtual festival format this weekend. Kevin Barnhart has the story.

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 Tulane will conduct a clinical trial to see whether hydroxychloroquine can be used to prevent COVID-19 cases. Matt Doyle has more.

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Governor Edwards says face masks will be the new normal in public places…

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Festival International de Louisiane in Lafayette is one of the many events canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of trying to push back to the fall, a virtual music festival will happen instead. Festival spokesperson Carly Viator says they will stream musical performances starting tomorrow through Sunday.

Cut 4 (09)_ “…some surprise collaborations.”

Virtual festival participants are encouraged to dress up just as they would for the physical event and prepare something interesting to eat.

Viator says due to popular demand, the famous festival punch will be available at several locations.

Cut 5 (09)  “…their souvenir cups.”

Pins, posters, and flags will be available to purchase at these locations, or you can snag yours online.

Viator says there will also be a virtual 5k for those who need an excuse to get out of the house and run.

Cut 6 (09) “…to run with.”

This would have been the 34th year for the festival and the live stream takes place on the event’s Facebook page.


Tulane is set to study whether hydroxychloroquine can be used to help prevent people who’ve been exposed to coronavirus from developing COVID-19.

Tulane School of Medicine Infectious Disease Epidemiologist Dr. Patricia Kissinger says the treatment has shown promise, but it needs to be proven in a human clinical trial.

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Kissinger says if you’ve been in close contact with a confirmed case, and you’re interested, they’ll have you do a telemedicine conference, then…

Cut 8 (08) “day 28.”

Tulane hopes to enroll 500 local participants.

Kissinger says the treatment is much like prophylactics given to those exposed to HIV, and it could be a vital tool once contact tracing becomes more widespread.

Cut 9 (10) “…infection.″

The trial is part of a nationwide effort with other sites in Baltimore, Washington, New York City, Boston, and LA.


Governor John Bel Edwards is calling on Louisiana residents to “mask up” which means wearing a face mask in public places. Edwards says wearing a mask reduces the chances of asymptomatic, or mildly symptomatic people unknowingly transmitting the virus to others.

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Guidelines still call for anyone feeling sick to self-quarantine, even if they have a mask.

Edwards says if you don’t have a mask then you need to get one or make one ASAP.

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Edwards says while masks are recommended for the public, gloves are not. He says they can cause more harm than good.

Cut 12 (12) “their face”

The Governor says the state is currently around day seven of a 14 day period of a measured decline in case growth he would need to see in order to partially reopen the economy on May 1st.


Since March 27th, the Louisiana Workforce Commission has paid out more than $561 million in unemployment benefits to 302,000 claimants.  LWC executive director Ava Dejoie says when putting it into perspective with last year, it showcases just how much the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the state’s workforce.

Cut 13 (09) “…short of mindblowing.”

Last year, there were only 103,000 claimants.

Dejoie says beginning Sunday, the LWC will allow individuals to file their weekly certifications based on the last digit of their social security number.

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Dejoie says they are currently in the process of adding an additional server to its network to be able to handle more online volume.

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Dejoie says all individuals will get the payments they are entitled to retroactive to April 4 and for any other time period related to COVID-19 events.


At least four members of the 2019 national champion LSU football team will be selected in the first round of tonight’s NFL draft. Football analyst Mike Detillier says Joe Burrow will be the first pick and Justin Jefferson, K’Lavon Chaisson and Patrick Queen will also go in the first round. Detillier says safety Grant Delpit could also be a first-round pick, even though his production fell off last seasons…

Cut 16  (16)  “…hurt Grant” 

Detillier says the Saints could use the 24th overall pick to take former LSU linebacker Patrick Queen. He says the Black and Gold could also take one of the talented wide receivers in this draft class…

cut 17  (14) “…select em” 


Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis, head coach Sean Payton and the team’s top scouts will communication with the league office and each other from their own homes. Loomis says he’s planned for internet and power outages

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Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Saints did not bring in any players for personal workouts. Loomis says some of the virtual pro days that players put together are useful…

cut 19 (25) big picture”  

The Saints will not have an offseason conditioning program or virtual OTAs. Coach Sean Payton has asked the current players to show up in July for training camp in the best shape of their lives. Loomis says they understand many of their rookies might not make a huge impact in 2020, because of this unusual offseason…

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