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Gov. Edwards offers incentives for getting vaccinated, gives latest COVID numbers, and more

Published: Jun. 2, 2021 at 9:56 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 4:04 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Gov. John Bel Edwards addressed the people of Louisiana on Thursday, June 3, to provide the latest in the state’s fight against COVID-19 and other important topics.

A nurse named Carla Brown talked about how she is on a mission to vaccinate as many people as possible. She started a door-to-door campaign in honor of her husband, David, who died from COVID. She has teamed up with Bordelon Pharmacy to register people to receive the vaccine, then go to them to give it. She said they will go to people’s jobs, home, or wherever else they are.

The Louisiana Department of Health released data on Thursday, June 3, that showed there were 300 new COVID-19 cases for a total of 472,617 and 10 new deaths for a total of 10,605. There were no changes in patients in the hospital or those on ventilators. Dr. Dawn Marcelle, MD, with the Region 2 Office of Public Health, said the number of people hospitalized across the state continues to fall. She added the largest group in Louisiana to test positive currently are those between 18 and 29.

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Also Thursday, officials reported 1,659,636 (36%) vaccine series had been initiated and 1,477,339 (32%) had been completed. The governor has been using his media availability to encourage those eligible to get one of the three vaccines now available. He is now offering perks to those who get the vaccines. The Shot for a Shot campaign allows people to receive a drink after proving they’ve been vaccinated. Budweiser will be giving away beer once President Biden’s goal of 70% of Americans vaccinated is reached. Also, Louisiana is now offering free entry into all state parks and historic sites through July 31 for all those fully vaccinated. He said there will be more incentives announced at a later date.

NATIONAL VACCINE INCENTIVES

RELATED: President Biden approves Louisiana’s disaster declaration for May flooding

On Wednesday, President Biden ordered federal assistance for people in Ascension, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, and Lafayette parishes who suffered damages due to severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding in May. Edwards said people in those parishes need to go to www.disasterassistance.gov to apply for assistance. They can also call 1-800-621-3362. Edwards added people in other parishes with damage need to report it to damage.la.gov so they can possibly get added to the declaration.

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Tuesday was also the start of hurricane season and Edwards reminded people to Get a Game Plan before a storm threatens Louisiana. People are asked to check their emergency supplies, conduct an insurance checkup to determine if they have adequate coverage for their home and property, and develop an emergency communications plan for their family and co-workers.

RELATED: As businesses struggle to hire, disagreements over unemployment benefits continue

The extra federal unemployment expires on Sept. 6, 2021. So far, Edwards has refused to do what other states have done and reject the extra money. He acknowledged receiving a letter from business owners asking him to end the enhanced federal unemployment benefits before the expiration date. He said he has hired an economist to research if ending those benefits early for Louisiana is wise. He said he doesn’t have the results of the study yet but he hopes to make a final decision on the matter in the next couple of weeks.

RELATED: Gov. Edwards signs 51 bills into law

Bills approved by the Louisiana Legislature have started hitting the governor’s desk for his signature and he has started putting pen to some of those. He is not in favor of the bill that does away with requiring a permit to carry a concealed weapon. He will give more information about bills when the session ends on Thursday, June 10.

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