Apr 9, 2020

John Bel Edwards Louisiana Coronavirus Briefing Transcript April 9

John Bel Edwards Conference April 9
RevBlogTranscriptsPress Conference TranscriptsJohn Bel Edwards Louisiana Coronavirus Briefing Transcript April 9

Governor John Bel Edwards of Louisiana held a press conference on COVID-19 today, April 9. He said he’s weighing keeping schools closed and that an official order is coming very quickly. Read the full transcript here.

 

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John Bel Edwards: (00:00)
And you’ve all seen improved modeling at the national level and we’re seeing those here in the state of Louisiana as well. All of those models have premised upon the assumption that the mitigation measures stay in place, precisely that the stay at home order stays in place, that people comply with those, that only essential workers are working, that other individuals only go out when it’s essential that they do so and not more frequently than is necessary and so forth, so that’s incredibly important for people to know. We continue to owe all of our healthcare workers and first responders a tremendous debt of gratitude, one that is just tremendous. They’re doing lifesaving work. Tonight there will be a collective salute to the millions of essential workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be taken place across the country tonight at 8:00PM local time, and across the country there’ll be 150 iconic landmark buildings that will become beacons of blue to simply say thank you for all that these individuals are doing.

John Bel Edwards: (01:12)
And so, this is part of the Light it Blue Campaign that extends from One World Trade Center in Madison Square Garden in New York, to right here in Louisiana. And in our state, the participating buildings will include the Superdome, the State Capitol, the governor’s mansion, LSU’s Tiger stadium, Southern University’s FG Clark Activity Center, and Louisiana Tech is also lighting its iconic fountain tonight, The Lady of the Mist. We encourage everyone to join in and if you can’t light it up blue do what you can to show our medical heroes and first responders who are also heroes how much we collectively support and appreciate them. I also want to thank a number of individuals and entities for the outpouring of generosity that has happened over the past few weeks from both the public and private sectors it has been truly remarkable.

John Bel Edwards: (02:10)
Today I’m announcing three additional donations from companies to help us here in Louisiana. Salesforce will donate 500,000 N95 masks, 100,000 gloves and 50,000 shoe covers to our state. Walmart has announced that they will donate 25,000 N95 masks and Shell right there at Norco will donate 10,000 N95 masks. We appreciate all of them and we know that these items of PPE will go a long way to helping our frontline healthcare workers. I’d also like to again thank Walmart for partnering with us on bringing more testing to areas of the state where it has been lagging, principally up in Shreveport and down in St. John the Baptist Parish as well.

John Bel Edwards: (03:07)
I’m also pleased to announce that we’ve approved the first grant from the COVID-19 response fund. You may remember that the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, the Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation and the Irene W. and CB Pennington Foundation, each contributed $400,000. This fund is being administered by BRAF here in Baton Rouge and it’s specifically for the Baton Rouge area, and they created this COVID-19 response fund. More than a $100,000 of that will be given to the Three O’clock Project, which is expanded its meal distribution services after some public school systems were no longer able to continue their cafeteria services and with these funds they will be able to reach 30,000 more kids daily. The nonprofit is serving free meals to children under 18 in East Baton Rouge, St. Landry, Assumption, Iberville, Ascension parishes as well as other parishes across the state. A consortium of more than 60 restaurants is preparing thousands of meals daily, are retaining restaurant workers who otherwise would have been unemployed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

John Bel Edwards: (04:20)
I also want you to know that while we can’t host the annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Governor’s Mansion this year, we had already gotten all of the candy necessary to have that and most of it from Elmers there in Ponchatoula and we’ve donated that candy to local food banks in East Baton Rouge Parish schools for the children and their families to enjoy. I know right now as we are celebrating and marking Holy Thursday and approaching Easter weekend, it’s a little hard to feel connected to each other and so, I wanted to share that the Next Door app is up and running, it’s one of the largest sites for neighborhoods in the country. We’re going to be sharing updates via Next Door and also, we’ll be working to get neighborhood captains organized to help support local businesses. They can place orders from restaurants and so forth and the captains can then pick up the orders for everyone at once and help reduce the number of people having to go out and make contact with other individuals, so that is the Next Door app.

John Bel Edwards: (05:35)
This is part of Louisiana’s Get it to Go Campaign, which features a public service announcement by the LSU gymnastics coach DeeDee Borough. We know our local restaurants are working hard to help feed people and we want everyone to know that when it comes to our Louisiana food you can get it to go. As I mentioned, today is Holy Thursday, tomorrow’s Good Friday and course Sunday is Easter Sunday. The Easter story is at least in part a story of waiting, waiting for new birth, and we’re in another period of waiting right now, one that’s unfortunately going to last past this coming Sunday but there is light at the end of all this darkness and I did want to encourage the people of Louisiana to look at it in that fashion.

John Bel Edwards: (06:22)
I encourage them to continue to comply with all the orders that are in place and to be patient and to be resolute because if they will do that then the light comes sooner and the sooner we can start transitioning back to some sense of normalcy. I do want to extend my prayers and condolences to the family of pastor Harry Blake of Shreveport who passed away last night. He was 85 years old and an iconic leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Pastor Blake served the Mount Canaan Baptist Church for more than 52 years. He endured many hardships during his life and in fact, very nearly lost his life during the Civil Rights Movement but he never wavered in his faith nor in his work towards equality and justice for all people. This state will be forever grateful to Pastor Blake and for all that he did, the sacrifices that he made to make our state better. And we’re certainly remembering his family and we will keep them in our prayers.

John Bel Edwards: (07:27)
Before I get to questions, I did want to follow up with a question that Greg Hillburn asked yesterday and I didn’t have the answer to it and that is whether the $600 per week payments are retroactive, this enhanced unemployment benefit that will go not just to those who are traditional employees can benefit but in this case because of the Cares Act, this money will also be made available to individuals who are 1099 workers, self-employed workers and so forth. Those payments are retroactive but only to the week that ended on April the fourth so this is the second week. I’ve directed secretary Ava Dashwald to begin making those payments on Monday of next week. So Greg, the answer to your question is yes, retroactive to the end of last week and so, that will start next week.

John Bel Edwards: (08:29)
And again, those payments are in addition to the normal state benefit which maxes out at $247 per week. So I will now take a couple of questions that came to us from the public. First Joy asks, “I have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and in need of surgery. Surgeries are on hold right now. Is there any way of knowing or anticipating when these much needed surgeries and related procedures will be able to be resumed?” First of all, I’m sorry about the diagnosis and Don and I will certainly keep Joy in our prayers, but if your doctor deems that surgery necessary, there is nothing in the order that came from the Department of Health that prevents that surgery from being scheduled and conducted. And so, I encourage Joy to go back to her doctor and inquire about this.

John Bel Edwards: (09:32)
Second question comes from Dave. He asks, “What are you doing for first responders, especially those working with EMS and must go into these unknown situations to complete first line treatments?” First of all, as I mentioned earlier today and numerous times, we are very thankful to all of our first responders. All of whom show up in a big way every day across the state of Louisiana, but especially during times of disaster and emergency, whether it’s a natural disaster or this public health emergency. And I want to say that on behalf of the state of Louisiana we really appreciate all of our first responders and we know that they’re on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19. First responders, first of all, we encourage them to use PPE and we’re furnishing PPE as best we can to all of the parishes in the state of Louisiana as we can consistent with their request. In fact, we have distributed PPE to all 64 parishes.

John Bel Edwards: (10:34)
And we’re also sending PPE to hospitals and nursing homes and so forth. And when we make testing available, priority is being given to first responders who are symptomatic because we do want them to know just as soon as possible whether they have a COVID-19 and we’re going to continue to do what we can to support our first responders across the state of Louisiana. One closing note, tomorrow our press conference is going to be earlier as we are going to do things a little differently for Good Friday so we will have this press conference at 1:00PM, so with that I am prepared to take your questions and we do have Dr. Alex Beau here for questions related to testing. Yes ma’am.

Melinda: (11:25)
Governor, the school superintendents and Betsy’s leadership have sent letters asking for you to keep K through 12 school facilities closed through the remainder of the year, have you made a decision on whether or not you intend to do that?

John Bel Edwards: (11:39)
Melinda the letters came in literally just minutes before I came out and I have them from the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Department of Education, school superintendents and the School Board Association and I anticipated getting the request. I told Betsy the interim Superintendent of Education this morning that I would have a conversation with her after I received a request from them. I haven’t had that conversation but I’ll have it today and I just want to make sure that I’m clear on what they’re requesting and some other things and I’ll be making an announcement and it’s going to happen relatively soon and obviously there’s a really good chance that I’m going to quickly do what they’re asking me to do and so, I’m not trying to keep people in suspense. I suspect that that order is forthcoming very quickly. Yes sir.

Speaker 3: (12:39)
Attorney General Landry said through the request of your health department he’s formed a task force to make sure clinics are not forming elective surgery. He sent investigators out this afternoon to abortion clinics in Shreveport and in Baton Rouge, what can you tell us about that initiative?

John Bel Edwards: (12:59)
Well we’ve received complaints over the last couple of weeks about clinics of various types all over the state of Louisiana, not necessarily a huge number of clinics but in different geographic regions. Some of them dental clinics, some are colonoscopy and others have to do with vision and we certainly received some as it relates to abortion clinics. And so, we are trying to ascertain now whether any of these clinics are in violation of the orders that have been issued by the Department of Health that stopped non-emergency medical procedures in order to try to conserve PPE that could be used in the fight against COVID. Those investigations have started. I haven’t received the result of any investigation into any one of those clinics and so I don’t have any more to add at this point but I’m sure that there will be additional information at some point.

Speaker 3: (13:54)
Do you believe that abortions are an elective procedure?

John Bel Edwards: (13:57)
Well I think it would depend on the conditions under which one was performed and again we’re going to have more information about this soon and we’ll share it with you when we get it. But I have not received the results of any of those investigations yet.

Speaker 4: (14:14)
So to be clear, Jeff Landry is investigating these abortion clinics on behalf of your health department and you’re going to decide what to do once you get the results of [crosstalk 00:14:22]?

John Bel Edwards: (14:22)
Well I believe there is an effort with the State Board of Medical Examiners, the Department of Health and the AG’s office to try to figure out whether clinics are violating the order that was issued several weeks ago by the Department of Health.

Speaker 4: (14:38)
Do we know which of the three abortion clinics in Louisiana are preforming the procedure right now?

John Bel Edwards: (14:41)
I don’t know. Another other questions? Yes sir.

Speaker 4: (14:48)
The CDC has started to do blood testing for coronavirus antibodies across the country, do you support the use of this type of testing in Louisiana? Would you like to see the CDC do something similar here?

John Bel Edwards: (15:01)
The serology testing?

Speaker 4: (15:02)
Yes sir. As a way to inform whether we reopen [crosstalk 00:15:06].

John Bel Edwards: (15:05)
Yeah. Well first of all it’s critically important to know that and as we transition at some point in the future as we’re able to do so and start easing up on the restrictions which we are not doing today, I’m not announcing that today, it’s totally inappropriate at this point, we know we have a ways to go. While we need everyone to continue to comply with the stay at home order, with the social distancing, with all the hygiene practices but as we do, when the circumstances allow us to start to transition, we know that more testing of all types is going to be required. Whether it’s diagnostic testing, surveillance testing or this serology testing because we would want to know, for example, if someone contracted the disease, developed antibodies to it and then have immunity potentially from getting the disease again.

John Bel Edwards: (16:04)
And by the way, we still have to know because this is a novel coronavirus exactly what that means in the context of this particular coronavirus that we’re up against because we don’t know that it doesn’t come back in the fall slightly different, mutated. Every year you got to get a new flu vaccine and doesn’t matter whether you had the vaccine last year or not or whether you’ve had the flu and developed antibodies, it changes over time. But knowing whether there are antibodies in an individual and the immunity that that confers upon that individual is important in knowing just how free that individual then is to resume work and to going out and public and making contact with people. So we’re going to be looking to avail ourselves of that testing as broadly as we possibly can once it becomes available, especially in the context of that transition that I talked about, but we’re also going to have to have more testing as a relationship surveillance and diagnostic the kind of testing we’re doing now.

John Bel Edwards: (17:04)
Hopefully more of the quick turnaround time, the 15 minute type testing that we’re starting to see come online now so that we can do more contact tracing and isolation with respect to those individuals who are positive because that just becomes more important. I think what we all should recognize that if this plays out as we’re beginning to expect that it will over the next weeks and months, a very high percentage of people in the country and in Louisiana will not have been exposed to the virus. And so, that means that they remain susceptible to it.

John Bel Edwards: (17:42)
And especially as it relates to our most vulnerable individuals, those who are 65 or older and those who have these chronic underlying health conditions, we really need to be able to protect them to the maximum degree possible and only testing will allow us to do that, the testing of all three types. And I continue to share Dr. Beau’s feelings on this. We wish we had more testing but I will tell you that we still have either the number one or number two amount of testing in the country on a per capita basis, which means we have really done all that we could to make available all of the testing that was possible in the state of Louisiana and we’re going to continue to do that as we go forward. And it relates to the types of testing you just talked to you about as well.

Speaker 4: (18:30)
So we don’t have the ability to do blood testing for antibodies now but you hope to get that through the CDC in the coming weeks or [inaudible 00:18:36] timeline?

Dr. Alex Beau: (18:37)
Yeah so, we don’t currently have a serology test for the antibodies in blood. We are working with labs across the state to test some of those tests. Unfortunately we don’t have the same system. Maybe fortunately we don’t have the same system for vetting those tests that we usually relied on where the FDA would put a test through long periods of rigorous testing before we would be able to use it. The FDA has given guidance to states to be able to do independent testing locally so that we can then determine which of these tests are going to perform well enough that we feel confident in their results.

Dr. Alex Beau: (19:11)
And we’ve got partnerships around the state that are going to begin looking at these various tests and when we feel like there’s one that’s that’s reliable enough to deploy, we will. The CDC has developed their own tests and will be doing these tests using their own test and that may be something that we also have access to just like the PCR test, the viral test that we do in our state lab, part of which was developed by the CDC. We now have another machine that does that test using a different setup but both of them testing for the virus itself.

John Bel Edwards: (19:42)
And this is related, it’s not really an answer to the question that you just gave us but I was paying attention to one of the news stations a few minutes ago before we came out and they were talking about patients receiving convalescent plasma transfusions. It’s a similar concept that you take plasma from an individual who’s developed the antibodies because they’ve recovered from the disease and then you use that plasma to treat other individuals who are still fighting the disease. And I will tell you that that’s just now starting to happen across the country. It is happening in Louisiana as well and so, we really are on the front end of all of the medical science related to the response to COVID-19 and I say that just because I really appreciate the work that’s being put in by the medical community here in Louisiana. Yes ma’am.

Melinda: (20:36)
Governor, we learned overnight that FEMA and HHS are saying that the national stockpile has been depleted and there is nothing to give states right now in terms of PPE, ventilators, those kind of things. Did you get any notification or did the governors get any notification in general that that was happening? And do you have any concerns about that? Does that change how you’re approaching trying to obtain things like PPE and ventilators?

John Bel Edwards: (21:06)
Yeah. It doesn’t necessarily change our approach, but it does change what we anticipate will happen, what our expectations are. We’ve been told for a number of days now that the federal government and the coronavirus taskforce being led by the Vice President but the response is really being headquartered at FEMA, they’ve all been telling us not to expect to continue to receive large amounts of PPE from the national stockpile. Instead, the states and the medical providers should be trying to source PPE from the traditional distributors and vendors. And in order to facilitate that, the effort nationally would be to acquire PPE from all over the world through an air bridge and that flights would be coming into the United States literally on a daily basis and then making that PPE available to the distributors so that we and our medical providers could source those materials.

John Bel Edwards: (22:07)
So, I will tell you we’ve had longer time now with the air bridge in place. It appears that the PPE is becoming more readily available. I’m not going to say that we have as much as we would like and that it always comes in as soon as we would like it but it seems like we’re moving in a better direction in that regard, so I’m not especially troubled by what we’re hearing with respect to the national stockpile. And I’m not surprised by that either because they’ve been telling us to sort of wean ourselves off of the national stockpile and move in this other direction. And as I mentioned, we’re now starting to get much more support from the private sector via donations as well. I mean 500,000 masks from one donation and these are N95 masks, these are the masks that are most sought after right now. So we’re in a little better place there. I’m not going to say that we’re out of the woods. PPE remains a concern not just for Louisiana, but for all the states in our country and for probably 160 or so countries across the globe.

Melinda: (23:15)
On that subject, several states have sort of talked about getting together to use their purchasing power together, are you in any conversations with other states to do that?

John Bel Edwards: (23:21)
We are not. We’re looking at the concept to see whether it confers any advantages. Right now quite frankly, we don’t see it and it’s still in the early stages of developing these consortiums and whether that really through the enhanced purchasing power that a consortium might have relative to the states acting individually, I just don’t know that that confers any benefit. And it may add an additional layer of sort of a bureaucracy that you have to go through in order to place an order for and then receive your allocation of PPE. But we are taking a look at it. We haven’t said no but it’s something I’ve asked Colonel Wascum to take a look at and see whether that’s that’s a step he would recommend. And then we’re also trying to talk directly to the states that are doing it to see whether they believe it’s going to kind of be an improvement. Yes sir.

Speaker 6: (24:15)
Governor, on the subject of schools and the decision on that, a lot of them are doing learn from home through Zoom, FaceTime, things like that. Is that an effective method of educating and is it desirable?

John Bel Edwards: (24:28)
Well, it’s probably the most effective method that you have when you are not able to assemble in your classroom. And so, because of that, because we want our children to continue learning as best as possible and as much as possible, it’s desirable because the only option is to do nothing. Now it’s not a very good fit for career oriented classes and so forth but obviously it is much better then a young person who needs to be in school not doing anything related to learning. And by the way, schools are also across the state of Louisiana they continue to try to get a traditional materials in the hands of children, paper as well but Zoom is one of those options.

John Bel Edwards: (25:17)
I had my first Zoom experience just over a week ago and while it wasn’t like a being in the same room with all of my siblings and my mother, it wasn’t bad either and it allowed us to be connected and to joke and to cut up and express ourselves as we always do, but we were a little nicer probably under the circumstances than we might be sometimes. And then I know that that’s an experience that people are having with respect to education as well. So it certainly beats not having any class experience during this time that we’re not going to be in school. Yes sir.

Speaker 3: (25:59)
Governor, we’re almost halfway through the month. What is your stance? What do you believe the likelihood is that you will allow your order to expire on April 30th?

John Bel Edwards: (26:08)
I will have an announcement on that when I have an announcement on that and today is just not the day. What I will tell people is we’re in a better place than we were a week ago and a week ago we didn’t anticipate that we would be here necessarily. So how can I tell you where we’re going to be a week from now? We just have to wait and see and I’m asking people to be patient but I will tell you that whenever we start the transition it is not going to be like flipping a light switch where you go from all one direction and then you start going totally in another. It’s going to be a transition period and it’s going to be dependent on a lot of things including the various types of testing that we just talked about and loosening restrictions as we are able and feel confident.

John Bel Edwards: (26:56)
And by the way, monitoring at all times where the cases spike and if so you got to ratchet down again but we will do this as a team working with the federal government and the folks at CDC and working with Dr. Fowchee and his group as well. And so, we’re not going to have an announcement until we have an announcement about that. I will repeat however, the models that show that the total deaths in the United States related to COVID-19 going down significantly. Our premise upon us having these mitigation measures in place, not just through the end of April, through the end of May. Now, I’m not making an announcement today, but the people need to know that that’s what those models are premised upon. And because sometimes individuals will throw these models up and they don’t tell you what’s informing them but those models are informed by an assumption that says that those measures will be in place through the end of May, so we’ll see. Yes sir.

Speaker 4: (28:06)
Governor, are you going to do anything with your clemency power regulatory power to alleviate the number of prisoners in Louisiana prisons?

John Bel Edwards: (28:15)
First of all, that’s already happened to some degree with respect to pretrial detainees. And so, you’ve got sheriffs and DAS working with probation and parole and judges to look at all of those individuals that they think should not be detained because they don’t pose a threat to public safety and we’re trying not to have more people than is necessary. And then we have an effort underway in the Department of Corrections to work with some authority that the secretary already has and we’re looking at nonviolent non-sex offenders within six months of their release date. Focusing primarily, or I shouldn’t say primarily, but first of all on those people who are older, 60 or older and have underlying health conditions to see whether they can be furloughed.

John Bel Edwards: (29:06)
But if so, they have to have a home, it would be a home confinement, they would have an ankle bracelet on and their case would be approved by five of six people sitting on a special panel that would look at this and the panel will be comprised of an individual from the Department of Corrections, the Pardon and Parole Board would have a representative, but you’d also have the Sheriff’s association, the DA’s Association and a Victim’s Rights Advocate. And I don’t know if I’ve just named six people but there’ll be six, five of whom would have to vote for in order for that to happen, so there are some steps that are [inaudible 00:29:46]. That process has not yet started. The Department of Corrections is gathering the information on individuals who meet the criteria and gathering the files up so that they can be presented to the panel and then that will start sometime in the near future.

Speaker 4: (30:01)
Any timeline more specific than that?

John Bel Edwards: (30:05)
The last that I heard was the goal was to start it on Tuesday, having the first iteration of that, I don’t know whether they have gotten it to the point where they can actually get the first one done Tuesday but I’ll let you know. Yes sir.

Speaker 6: (30:21)
Back to the testing. You mentioned more testing coming online that makes the results come in much faster.

John Bel Edwards: (30:29)
Yeah.

Speaker 6: (30:30)
Where are we as far as the lag between someone getting a test and the numbers that are coming out daily and when can we see that lag close?

John Bel Edwards: (30:42)
It’s not an easy question to answer because it depends on who’s administering the test and the lab that they’re using to get the results from. And one of the things that we don’t have filled as robustly now as we would like and it’s just a function of the supply not meeting the demand are these Abbott machines that can do a test in 15 minutes. It is true that we received our 15 machines, but we also received a total of 120 cartridges. Well, a single cartridge is required for every test and the cartridges are being produced as quickly as Abbott can produce them but we can’t get any more until we work through FEMA and we’re doing that now to try to get more as they are produced, so we have the machines but not necessarily the cartridges to make a big difference.

John Bel Edwards: (31:36)
But we do have healthcare providers out there that have been able to obtain their own similar machines. But these are the machines that we really want to have in place all over the state of Louisiana because you can quickly determine whether someone has it and if they don’t have it, then you don’t need to burn all the PPE and you don’t treat them exactly the same way, so it’s important to do that. But then you have all sorts of different testing that’s going on out there. Some of it is being sponsored by the federal government and they have contracts with various labs, whether it’s Quest or Lab Core. You all know from reporting over the last a week or so, and I think things are better now, but at one time Quest was taken up to seven days to get the results back. They had a backlog of 160,000. Some of the testing is still going to the state lab, although it’s safe to say now over the last several days, every day we’ve reported new tests, upwards of 90% of those tests are done by private labs.

John Bel Edwards: (32:36)
And so, there’s more reliance on the private labs, which is important because it helps with your capacity and your throughput but the reporting is uneven. And so, it’s really hard for me to tell you. And we’re talking to all of these testing entities and asking them to report more timely the results and we’re also asking them to report more information with the results, so that for example, we don’t know currently from private labs the race of the individual whose test results are an issue. We know the race of deaths and we’ve been talking about that a lot lately but we’re trying to see what percentage of the positive cases for example are African American and then compare that or contrast it to the percentage of deaths from COVID-19 who are African American.

John Bel Edwards: (33:26)
Right now we can’t do that with respect to most testing because that information just isn’t available. So there’s a lot of work on testing that continues to happen and while we’ve ramped up testing overall in a way that I think is commendable because we do have either number one or number two per capita testing in the country and we’re right there with New York and one day we’re number one and they’re number two and then the next day it’s the other way around but we’ve got some more work to do and I don’t know if you had anything to add to that.

Speaker 7: (34:01)
Last one.

Speaker 6: (34:02)
And on top of that, with the testing and the results in the numbers that we’re getting out daily at noon, is there any idea of possibly moving it to be more specific? I know you mentioned the race of people and things like that but there’s one particular Parish that is saying when something happens in a particular zip code, is that a thought process to do that statewide or is it just so much to try to do?

John Bel Edwards: (34:32)
I don’t know whether we’ve tried to do this both by zip code. I can tell you that the more data that you can get the better. But you can literally sit there and spend all of your time doing nothing but manipulating data and looking for new ways to report things. And as for zip code or other things I’m going to ask Alex to come up and respond to that.

Dr. Alex Beau: (34:56)
Yeah, I mean I think we’re certainly looking at the data at a Parish level. We understand the desire to get more granular. I think we have to balance that as well, especially with our rural parishes about starting to risk identifiable information. That’s something that again, we want to be very careful about this is still a personal health information and so, when we start to get to details where we’ve got one case in a Parish and we start to give too much demographic information, you can start to identify who that individual is. So we are looking at where we can censor the information below a certain level if it’s too low where we have places like Orleans and Jefferson and East Baton Rouge, other places were we have large numbers starting to give that that data out. Then the other factor we need to look at is do we have confidence in the data?

Dr. Alex Beau: (35:47)
And when we’re talking about things like demographic data where we’re not getting that from the vast majority of the tests from commercial tests, we worry about showing you a picture that represents 20% of the tests in that area and people drawing conclusions based on that when it could just be what’s going on in that 20% and the next 80% look very different. So we have to be very careful. We want to give you not only accurate information, we feel confident what we’re putting out there is accurate but interpretable information that doesn’t sort of skew and send the public in the wrong direction and our team is working hard on that every day in addition to trying to contact the cases and do the contact tracing for those places.

John Bel Edwards: (36:24)
Okay, so that’ll be the last of the questions today. As we approach Easter weekend, I’m going to again, encourage people to be patient. Do what we’re asking you to do with respect to staying home, social distancing and hygiene. For those families who typically gather in large numbers for Easter, this is just not the Easter to do it but I encourage those family units that eat together every night to do what you can to preserve as much of your Easter tradition as possible.

John Bel Edwards: (36:56)
And on behalf of all the crawfish folks across the state of Louisiana, I’m going to encourage you that if you normally crawfish on Easter weekend try to do that this weekend too, but don’t have a block party and don’t have more than your immediate family unit there but crawfish is available. They are delicious, I had some last week and I would encourage you to continue to do that but just do it on the scale that is appropriate. And then obviously let’s look forward to a blessed Easter Sunday. We will be back with you at 1 o’clock tomorrow for the next press conference. So thank you.

Speaker 8: (37:40)
And like all good city dwellers, once they found a good place to eat they quickly spread the word. Ants communicate using their antenna. It’s called antenating and relays all the information the colony needs to find the takeout.