Week in Review, June 22-26: Virus Spikes Nationwide Raise Questions
NEW ORLEANS – The week brought an unnerving juxtaposition of business as usual and spikes in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Louisiana and nationwide.
On Monday, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that the state would be keeping its current restrictions in place amid a rise in cases. Later in the week, a group of conservative state lawmakers announced their attempt to override the governor’s orders. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and the city’s chief health officer Jennifer Avegno announced the creation of a task force to enforce health regulations after several parties and gatherings were reported to be COVID-19 “super spreader” events.
Louisiana’s Department of Education, meanwhile, released guidelines for the start of the 2020-21 school year and the gist of it is that students will be wearing masks and washing their hands a lot. Schools will also be prepared to switch to distance learning if the number of virus cases and hospitalizations continue to rise.
Meanwhile, Biz New Orleans talked to Jefferson Parish child care operator Paula Polito about the challenges facing an industry that will be an essential part of restarting the economy.
The Associated Press reported that hoteliers with mortgages owned by Wall Street – loans known as commercial mortgage-backed securities – are having a much tougher time negotiating any forbearance than those with traditional bank loans. One hotelier described the system as the “big bad wolf.”
At the end of the week, Gayle Benson made headlines with her announcement that she will be renaming Dixie Beer only a few months after spending millions to build a new brewery and relaunch the brand.