AM Newscall 06/25/2020

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announces the city will enforce the use of face masks, due to the uptick of coronavirus cases. Brooke Thorington has more.

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There are many myths circulating about virus spread mitigation efforts with masks, but in the wake of rising COVID-19 numbers, health officials are debunking them. Kevin Barnhart has the story.

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A resolution calling for a task force on policing policy creates a heated disagreement on the House floor. Matt Doyle has the story.

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As coronavirus hospitalizations increase across the nation the American Psychiatric Nurses Association says they are seeing significant mental health impacts on healthcare providers that work on the frontlines. APNA President Tari Dilks says because patients are having to die alone to mitigate the spread of the virus, nurses are having to offer the comfort that family members would normally provide.

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While many states and hospitals are offering counseling for healthcare workers, Dilks encourages those with family members and loved ones working on the frontlines to be supportive of the situation.

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Dilks says the increased workload from COVID-19 on healthcare providers is having an emotional impact.  With other crises for example hurricanes, those on the frontline know that the increased workload will eventually taper off.

Healthcare providers are witnessing COVID patients suffer to a greater extent compared to other diseases and Dilks says it’s having an acute impact on their mental state and could lead to PTSD.

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Governor Edwards’ new proclamation of extending Phase Two reopening for another 28 days is officially issued today.  Edwards says when ranking of states by per capita COVID-19 cases, Louisiana is ranked 7th, down three spots from its previous best ranking.

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245,000 tests have been done in the state this month with no plans to slow those efforts down.

Edwards is alarmed by the growing numbers or younger individuals testing positive for the virus and encourages them to take mitigation efforts seriously.  Edwards says while younger people think they may be untouchable by the virus, they can suffer poor health outcomes, including death.

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Edwards says there is not a path forward in continuing to reopen the economy without more intense participation from the public in spread mitigation efforts.

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Governor Edwards says wearing a mask is one of the best tools the public has in fighting COVID-19 spread and during Wednesday’s press briefing, time was taken to debunk some myths about face coverings. State health officer Doctor Jimmy Guidry says it’s a myth that they are not effective.

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Guidry says a mask reduces the risk of someone sharing the virus with others through exhaled particles, and for it to have maximum effect, it needs to cover the nose, not just the mouth like another myth would lead some to believe.

Guidry highlights the myth that if someone isn’t feeling sick, they should not wear a mask, but he says asymptomatic people still can spread the virus.

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Guidry says the idea that someone can wearing a mask and resume life as normal without any other spread mitigation efforts is also incorrect, adding that the combination of efforts further reduces transmission rates.

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The House unanimously passes a resolution to create a task force to study policing policy after removing language mentioning the killing of George Floyd.

Prairieville Representative Tony Bacala backed the effort but expressed frustration that there isn’t adequate appreciation for the dangers of police work. Bacala says since 2017…

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Bacala, a former state trooper, says police are far more likely to be killed in the line of duty than African Americans are to be killed by police.

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Baton Rouge Representative Ted James responded, saying people who murder cops get arrested, while cops who murder black men get taxpayer-funded vacations and rarely suffer consequences.

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James was animated in his comments, detailing what he says was an agreement between Republican leaders and the Black Caucus to pass the resolution by stripping it of language mentioning George Floyd and holding no floor speeches about policing. After the amendments stripping the bill passed, Bacala made his comments, leading to James accusing GOP leaders of duplicity.

James called for a reckoning on racial profiling and mentioned an incident where he was confronted by Baton Rouge police while with other black men. He says he showed the officers he was a lawmaker…

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The resolution, by Baton Rouge Senator Cleo Fields, heads back to the Senate for approval of the House made changes.