Health Policy

House passes qualified immunity bill

House passes bill that would codify clergy’s right to visit nursing homes

BY: and - October 21, 2020

The Louisiana House passed a bill Wednesday morning that would prevent the state health department from restricting members of the clergy from visiting patients in nursing homes and other healthcare facilities during public health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Members of the clergy have been able to visit nursing homes since the early days […]

House passes qualified immunity bill

Bill to prohibit schools from giving names of contagious students to health department stalls on House floor

BY: - October 19, 2020

Louisiana House lawmakers spent much of Monday afternoon debating a bill that would prohibit schools from reporting the names of  students who have infectious diseases to the Louisiana Department of Health. After that debate, a sizable majority of the House members decided to redirect the bill back to the House Health & Welfare Committee. House […]

Pastor could avoid criminal charges if resolution passes

Louisiana House will consider law to protect pastor who violated COVID-19 restrictions

BY: - October 7, 2020

The Louisiana House will take up legislation that would protect a pastor who defied state regulations by holding church services during the first few weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. The House Criminal Justice Committee voted 6-3 Wednesday (Oct. 7)  to send a bill aimed at clearing Pentecostal Pastor Tony Spell of charges he faces for […]

Louisiana Capitol Building

Louisiana House backs proposals to undo COVID-19 restrictions

BY: - October 2, 2020

The Louisiana House of Representatives made its intentions clear Friday when it passed seven bills that would limit the governor’s authority during emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic — and one extra piece of legislation that could throw out all of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions until the end of November. None of the measures can go […]

COMMENTARY

Louisiana lawmakers need to acknowledge that COVID-19 is still with us

BY: - October 2, 2020

When Republican members of the Louisiana House Health, Education and Welfare committee argued with two of the state’s top public health experts Wednesday, they were illustrating the contempt much of the American public has developed for experts and their expertise. Jimmy Guidry, the state public health officer, and Joseph Kanter, the assistant state health officer, […]

capacity restrictions

New Orleans allows go-cups amid Phase 2 restrictions

BY: - September 25, 2020

In the latest easing of Phase 2 coronavirus restrictions, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced Friday that restaurants may resume serving alcoholic drinks via drive-through, takeout and curbside pickup options between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. The new guideline took effect at 5 p.m. on Friday and applied to all restaurants within Orleans Parish, according […]

Louisiana restaurants, casinos, bars get to sell alcohol for one more hour

BY: - September 18, 2020

Gov. John Bel Edwards adjusted his Phase 3 emergency order Thursday to allow Louisiana restaurants, casinos and bars in certain geographic areas to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption for an extra hour — until 11 p.m. Under the original Phase 3 plan announced last week, those establishments had to stop selling alcohol for on-site drinking […]

COMMENTARY

Will a COVID-19 vaccine be safe?

BY: - September 18, 2020

by Trish Zornio  for Colorado Newsline In normal times, vaccine safety is easily recognized. These aren’t normal times. Despite robust science, public trust of a COVID-19 vaccine is at an all-time low. After months of coronavirus lies and misinformation fueled by President Trump, a recent poll found 54% of Americans would not get immunized if the […]

Gov. John Bel Edwards

Louisiana to begin Phase 3 on Friday

BY: - September 10, 2020

In a press conference Thursday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that the state will move to Phase 3 of its coronavirus response on Friday, lifting some restrictions but leaving the face-mask mandate in place. Phase 3 is expected to loosen some restrictions on businesses, schools and public gatherings, but the governor did not elaborate […]

LA election plan

Should Louisiana have a special election plan due to coronavirus?

BY: - September 10, 2020

A two-day hearing to decide if the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic warrants an emergency election plan in Louisiana concluded Wednesday after U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick heard testimony from expert witnesses. Dick told the parties involved that she would issue her ruling “as quickly as humanly possible.” The case of Harding v. Edwards was brought […]

Alex Billioux

As Louisiana’s COVID-19 response continues, the state’s top public health official is resigning

BY: - September 9, 2020

The person who oversees Louisiana’s public health office  — and the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic — is leaving his job. Alex Billioux, a medical doctor and the assistant secretary for the Louisiana Department of Health, will step down at the end of the month, the health department confirmed Wednesday. He has been in […]

Angola

Louisiana Prisons Need To Do More COVID-19 Releases, Advocates Say

BY: - September 3, 2020

The Department of Corrections says there are 9,000 fewer people detained in Louisiana prisons and jails than when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in March, but over half of that reduction is the result of changes to how parole violations, immigration infractions and pre-trial detention are handled. There hasn’t been a dramatic change […]