Health

Gov. John Bel Edwards

Governor vetoes bill to give legislators power over COVID-19 restrictions

BY: - October 27, 2020

Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed legislation Tuesday that gives legislators the power to rescind COVID-19 restrictions and weakens his authority over emergencies overall.  “I have said repeatedly that an emergency cannot be managed by committee and that is exactly what this bill would allow,” wrote the governor in his veto explanation to the legislature. Edwards […]

Gov. John Bel Edwards

To preserve COVID-19 emergency powers, Gov. Edwards goes to court

BY: - October 26, 2020

Gov. John Bel Edwards filed a motion in court Monday against the Louisiana House of Representatives in response to a petition signed by House Republicans who are determined to overturn the governor’s public health emergency declaration.The state’s COVID-19 Phase 3 restrictions remain “in full force and effect,” Edwards said, despite statements from Attorney General Jeff […]

State health department to stress the importance of flu shots in series of virtual town hall events

BY: - October 26, 2020

The Louisiana Department of Health and Louisiana Public Health Institute will host three virtual town halls over the next few weeks “to educate the community about the importance of getting the flu vaccine this year, especially given the similarities between flu symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms.” The virtual town halls, titled “Protecting our Communities from the […]

State health department ordered to write guidelines for nursing home visitation

BY: - October 23, 2020

A bill that was originally written to give nursing home residents an unquestioned right to receive visitors — even in the midst of a pandemic — was gutted and rewritten to order the state health department to create rules that govern visitation, with the caveat that those rules can be trumped by federal law. House […]

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 […]

Climate change leads to more intense hurricanes — and more mosquitoes

BY: - October 20, 2020

Mosquitoes are a part of life in South Louisiana. But this year’s active hurricane season has made the biting insects intolerable — even to Cajuns. Parish mosquito-abatement offices around the state perform a simple test to see whether mosquitoes are bad enough to spray pesticides: They have a person stand still for one minute and […]

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

Lawmaker who attends Tony Spell’s church pushes bill through House that favors the defiant pastor

BY: - October 14, 2020

Louisiana House lawmakers on Tuesday passed a bill that was originally crafted to support a Louisiana church pastor who dared authorities to arrest him when he publicly and repeatedly violated the state’s COVID-19 restrictions; however, legislators amended the bill by replacing virtually all of the text with new language that would prevent an emergency public […]

Over a half-million without electricity following Hurricane Delta

BY: - October 10, 2020

More than a half-million were without electricity Saturday after Hurricane Delta slammed Southwest Louisiana — an area that had been trying to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Laura just over a month ago. In two press conferences Saturday, Gov. John Bel Edwards gave updates on the state’s recovery efforts, which he said are focused […]

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, […]