AM Newscall 07/23/2020

Healthcare capacity in the Acadiana region is running low as coronavirus spreads through the community like wildfire. Matt Doyle has more.

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Louisiana hit the 100,000 COVID case milestone Thursday. Matt Doyle has more.

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Senator John Kennedy believes the next coronavirus relief package advancing from the House to the Senate will extend unemployment benefits that are about to expire. Kevin Barnhart has the story.

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Healthcare officials in Acadiana warn the public that they are running out of regional healthcare capacity due to COVID-19 case growth.

Lafayette General Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Amanda Logue says their system hospitals and ICUs are full of COVID patients.

Cut 4 (11)_ “of them”

As of Thursday, the Lafayette General Health system had 143 COVID patients. That number was only 20 six weeks ago.

Our Lady of the Lourdes CMO Dr. Henry Kaufman says their healthcare workers have seen a 300 percent increase in cases in this second wave compared to the first wave.

Cut 5 (11)  “…an issue.”

Governor Edwards once again turned on the Bat-Signal for former medical workers to come out of retirement to relieve frontline healthcare workers who are overworked and catching the virus.

Logue and Kaufman told reporters Thursday that both systems have ceased doing elective surgeries.

Cut 6 (11) “…differed”

But Logue did add that all emergency operations are still happening and if you have an emergency do not hesitate to go to the hospital due to COVID.


Local governments have been reimbursed 127 million dollars so far as part of the CARES Act.

Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says the money did not reimburse revenue losses for local governments and only paid for COVID-related expenditures.

Cut 7 (11) “…pandemic”

Other professional services and contracts for things like mental health counseling and financial consulting also applied.

Dardenne says the bulk of the money reimbursed so far has gone to southern parishes hit hard in the early days like Orleans and Jefferson Parishes.

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Dardenne says it is interesting to note that 12 rural northern Louisiana parishes have not submitted an application for any reimbursements.

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The funding comes from a 524 million dollar fund for local governments.


Louisiana surpassed 100,000 total confirmed COVID positive cases since the pandemic began Thursday as the count continues to grow at a rapid pace.

Governor Edwards says that grim accomplishment should inspire residents to redouble their spread mitigation efforts.

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The state has also administered 1.1 million tests as well.

A conspiracy theory questioning whether that figure includes multiple tests from one person is gaining steam. Edwards called it a disinformation campaign aimed at minimizing how serious the situation is.

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Edwards’ Phase Two order will be extended Friday for another two weeks with added restrictions on bars and the mask mandate. He says it’s the only way we can get back to a sense of normalcy.

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The U-S Senate is about to begin debating the fifth coronavirus relief package, which will likely come with a trillion-dollar price tag.  Senator John Kennedy expects there will be additional help for unemployment compensation, but it will not be at the same $600 per week level that it has been at.

Cut 13 (12) “…in their job.” 

Not all Republican lawmakers are in agreement with the latest relief effort as some feel the cost is too much with a national debt that continues to climb.

Kennedy anticipates there will also be additional money for helping reopen K-12 schools in a safe manner, but he doesn’t believe students should be forced back into the classroom.

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Kennedy is pushing a measure for local and state governments who have previously money in past coronavirus relief bills, to have more autonomy with how that money is spent, including use for operating expenses not linked to COVID-19.

Cut 15 (09) “…get 90+ votes.” 


After winning three games last season, expectations are not high for Northwestern State to have a big season on the football field this year. The Southland Conference preseason poll has the Demons finishing 10th in the eleven team league. Northwestern will start a new quarterback, but Coach Brad Laird says he has three talented players that can win the job

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Kaleb Fletcher, Bryce Rivers and Zachry Clement are the three guys battling to be the starter in 2020. On defense, Northwestern State will be led by senior linebacker Ja’Quay Pough, who recorded 101 tackles last season. Pugh has told his teammates to have fun

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Nicholls has shared the conference title the last two season and they are picked to finish third this year. Senior linebacker Evan Veron says he wants to complete his collegiate career with an outright Southland title

Cut 18  (14) “…all ours”   

Nicholls is also searching for a new quarterback. Coach Tim Rebowe says he has four Q-Bs on the roster who will compete to replace the school’s all-time leading passer Chase Fourcade. Rebowe says they also have a lot of talented skill position players to surround their new quarterback

cut 19 (18) “…can do”