Beginning Monday, K-12 teachers and school staff and people aged 55-64 with certain health conditions will be eligible to receive Covid vaccines, Gov. Edwards announced Thursday, reported here by The Advocate. The massive ongoing winter event has disrupted already delayed vaccine logistics. Closed roads and offices forced delays in vaccine shipments and providers have had to reschedule both first- and second-dose appointments. LDH officials say that a few days delay on second doses shouldn’t be a problem. Just over a quarter-million people have been fully vaccinated in Louisiana. Hospitalizations have plummeted, however. As of Thursday, the Acadiana region posted fewer than 60 Covid in-patients for the first time since Nov. 2.
The day of the vote itself, the mandate lost official support from a group of physicians affiliated with both of Lafayette’s hospital systems.
A second effort at passing a local mask mandate failed on a 3-2 vote during a Tuesday emergency meeting of the Lafayette City Council. Losing co-sponsor Nanette Cook ahead of the meeting, the bill was dead on arrival and would have needed four “yes” votes to succeed and overcome a likely veto from Mayor-President Josh Guillory.
More than 3,000 calls flooded the council office, with two-thirds recording opposition. Misinformation about masking and the ordinance itself circulated wildly in the weeks since the effort was announced, though a draft of the ordinance didn’t materialize publicly until Monday.
Councilman Glenn Lazard pressed on despite the foregone failure, emphasizing that the mandate was necessary to force the administration’s hand into enforcement. Late last year, Guillory stood down local efforts to support the state’s mask mandate, and the state’s enforcement is itself virtually nonexistent.
Lost in the rancor is consideration of the positive impact that a mask mandate will have on Lafayette’s businesses.
December’s booster shot of federal stimulus will send $7 million in rent and utility assistance to Lafayette Parish, a figure that dwarfs previous local allocations but that advocates say still falls short of projected need. LCG is working through how to get the money out quickly.
Doctors at Lourdes and Ochsner Lafayette General believe the infusion has prevented hundreds of hospital admissions and dozens of deaths so far.
The science on masks is sound — they work. But a mask mandate is a different tool. Do you think Lafayette ought to pass a local ordinance enforcing a local mandate?
Custom build outs for visionary concepts like Grocery Tavern & Delicatessen, Tchoup’s MidCity Smokehouse and Vestal take time. In a pandemic, they take even longer.
Still failing to see enforcement of the governor’s mask mandate, City Council members are taking a second shot at passing a local one in an emergency meeting. The same council members previously backed off an effort to push forward on an emergency mask ordinance in July after Mayor-President Josh Guillory assured them the state order would be sufficiently enforced.
The mayor-president is in quarantine after a direct exposure to KLFY anchor Dalfred Jones, who tested positive for the coronavirus Friday, the day he emceed the swearing in of Lafayette City Marshal Reggie Thomas at the Heymann Center.
Customers flocked to pharmacies, some hopeful to see the end of the pandemic in sight, others frustrated and confused by another set of delays.
The elephant in the room is how much longer this damn pandemic will last and who will be left standing when it finally ends. But that’s not the only aspect of our local economy with an uncertain fate.