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Gov Edwards briefs press on COVID, Cristobal and police brutality

Gov. Edwards
Posted at 2:25 PM, Jun 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-08 15:55:37-04

Gov Edwards held a press briefing on Monday afternoon, touching on Cristobal, COVID-19 and police brutality.

The governor talked about Cristobal, saying that Louisiana escaped most of the worst impacts. Some people had to be rescued in Mandeville, and Grand Isle needed some emergency pumps which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers supplied, he said. There are 26 pumps trying to move water from the island, he said. A back levee was topped by storm surge, he said.

"The storm could have been a lot worse," he said. "Many weather officials have said we are fortunate."

Most roads that were closed - about a dozen - are either re-opened or should be soon, he said. About 4,000 people lost power, he said. The immediate threat is past, but rain bands continue to move through the state, he said. Tides are still elevated, he added.

Mostly, Cristobal was a good test for hurricane season, he said. And Louisiana needed one because of the impact of COVID 19 on the process.

When asked by media, Edwards said he's discussed the protests with New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell several times, and that the NOPD chief is investigating the use of rubber projectiles on protesters. He's investigating because they aren't authorized by the department, Edwards said.

"Obviously, we want the interaction between law enforcement and protesters to be as peaceful as possible," he said.

He said the frequency of excessive force cases across the country is increasing, and there are a lot of variables that impact that, including training and laws, and he's hoping that Louisiana lawmakers will agree that action is necessary and it needs to be done quickly and responsibly.

Edwards, who comes from a law enforcement family, says "some reforms are necessary, here and elsewhere" to prevent excessive force.

The governor complimented the protesters in Louisiana for holding largely peaceful protests, because that's the way people's voices will be heard, change can be implemented and calls for limits on use of force can be taken seriously.

On the subject of COVID-19, Edwards reported the number of presumed recovered patients has increased to 33,904.

He urged residents to continue to practice mitigation measures like wearing masks, social distancing, hand-washing and staying home if you are sick. He also urged citizens to cooperate if they get a call from a contact tracer, because you need to know if you were exposed to the virus.

Edwards referred to the LSU study that found more than 60 percent of those asked said they wear masks. Our story on that study is here.

The governor noted that the percentage of Louisianans who die of COVID-19 is still disproportionately high among African Americans - although the disparity is smaller than it was.

Edwards said there hasn't been a spike in cases, now a week out from Memorial Day, but there are more cases and more hospitalizations in the Monroe area.

As of June 8, the number of coronavirus cases reported in Louisiana increased by 234 and the number of deaths had increased by 6.

The number of cases in the state is now at 43,050. This is 234 more cases than were reported on Sunday.

A total of 2,831 people have died of the disease in Louisiana as of Monday. This includes 6 more deaths than were reported yesterday.

To read the latest numbers, click here.

KATC will air the briefing on KATC, KATC.com and Facebook. Watch a live stream of the presser below:

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