La. governor, health officials answer COVID-19 questions during special broadcast

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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB / LPB) - Governor John Bel Edwards and state health officials answered the public’s questions about COVID-19 during a televised discussion Monday, March 23.

Gov. John Bel Edwards | Source: WAFB

The special broadcast, called COVID-19 Louisiana’s Response, featured discussions on medical access, the state’s emergency response, and the impact of the virus on the state’s economy and education system.

Two hours after his statewide stay at home order took effect, Gov. Edwards offered words of comfort in the fight against the coronavirus.

“We’re going to get through this and we’re going to come back and we’re going to do it together and I think everybody should have hope,” said Gov. Edwards.

The hour-long discussion played out on television stations, radios, and livestreams statewide. The biggest concern from many folks was how the state will move forward against this invisible enemy. Unlike the 2016 flood, the governor says everyone can fight back against COVID-19.

“When people were watching the rainfall, there was nothing they could do to stop it, but we have everything to do with whether we’re going to flatten the curve and that’s how we’re going to save lives and that’s how we’re going to get through this in much better shape,” the governor added.

The governor was joined by other state leaders, including Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, commissioner of higher education, who tackled everything from limited resources to education. Reed says many students are now wondering whether things like graduation will still happen.

“To the Class of 2020, students both in college and in high school, we want you to know we will celebrate you," said Reed.

While there is no exact plan on when those celebrations will happen, one of the issues the fight against coronavirus has brought to light is students’ access to technology. Reed is among several education leaders who call it a learning opportunity.

"We have to think about how do we support students where they are and how do we build capacity in the future to really make sure that we don’t have haves and have nots when it comes to technology?” she added.

As the state stares at more than 1,000 cases in just two weeks’ time, the governor says it’s now more important than ever that people take the coronavirus seriously and do their part to stop the spread.

“I’m fighting to save our people and I need every single person in Louisiana to be in this fight with me,” he added.

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