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Edwards: Officials are monitoring flood-prone areas

gov edwards_AP.jpeg
Posted at 12:36 PM, Sep 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 16:20:29-04

Louisiana officials are keeping a close eye on areas prone to flooding, as the remains of Tropical Storm Beta moves across the state today and tomorrow.

"We're still expecting impacts here, in fact we're feeling impacts now," the Governor said. "It's going to be moving over central Louisiana."

At a press briefing today, Edwards said officials are watching for coastal and inland flooding. Floodgates have been closed; Grand Isle is using 14 pumps now to fight flooding. St. Bernard is using pumps delivered for Hurricane Sally, and New Orleans has pumped down canals to prepare, he said.

Many communities are experiencing flooding in the New Orleans area and around Plaquemines, Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, he said.

"We're keeping a close eye on those areas," he said.

The National Guard has more than 2,000 guardsmen activated for COVID, Laura and Beta, he said.

The governor urged anyone who lives in one of the 21 parishes approved for DSNAP to apply. The deadline is tomorrow, he said. Call 18885243578 to apply, he said. You have to call to apply and to interview, he said. The parishes are: Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Caddo, Calcasieu, Cameron, Grant, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lasalle, Lincoln, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouacita, Rapides, Sabine, St. Landry, Union, Vermilion, Vernon and Winn.

Even if you pre-registered, you still have to call and apply, the governor said.

If your child is on free or reduced lunch and missed school because of COVID and you haven't applied for PEBT benefits, you can still do that, but there's not much time remaining, he said. the deadline is September 29. You can apply at LouisianaBelieves.com

On the topic of COVID-19, Edwards implored everyone to get a flu shot this year. Even if you've never got one, do it this year, he said. All the mitigation measures in place to slow the spread of COVID will also help slow the transmission of the flu, Edwards said.

Limiting the number of flu cases is critical during the pandemic to help limit the stress on health care systems, the governor said.

Edwards talked about Louisiana bars and the new proclamation. Bars can still be open, just not for drinking on-premises.

If a parish has been below 10 percent positivity for two weeks in a row, that parish can choose to allow bars to open with some restrictions. If the percent goes above 10 percent for two weeks, then things go back to the way they were. Those figures can be viewed on the state's COVID dashboard here. So far, some eligible parishes have opted in, and some have not, he said.

As of Tuesday Louisiana reported 730 new coronavirus cases with 11 new deaths. Read more here

When asked, Edwards did talk about unemployment again. The federal benefits have run out, and he urged Congress to work together to fund another round of supplemental unemployment. Edwards said he'd also like to see some stimulus support from the feds for Louisiana, to allow the state to shore up the unemployment trust fund, which has been drained by the pandemic.

Another media question related to nursing home visitation. Edwards said it will be limited and there will be restrictions; visits will have to be outside, all visitors will have to be checked for symptoms, PPE will be required, and the visits will have to be scheduled.

Finally, LDH officials said they are very close to being ready to report infection rates from K-12 schools and Louisiana's colleges and universities. Data is coming in, and work on the app is underway, and it's possible that those figures may be available next week, officials say.

KATC will be live on katc.com and Facebook with the press conference. A live stream is below:

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