WBRZ https://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ Coronavirus Coronavirus en-us Copyright 2020, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Tue, 7 Jul 2020 HH:07:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ https://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Livingston Schools Superintendent announces current plans for reopening https://www.wbrz.com/news/livingston-schools-superintendent-announces-current-plans-for-reopening/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/livingston-schools-superintendent-announces-current-plans-for-reopening/ Coronavirus Tue, 7 Jul 2020 1:18:36 PM WBRZ Staff Livingston Schools Superintendent announces current plans for reopening

LIVINGSTON – Livingston Parish School Superintendent Joe Murphy announced Tuesday that district leaders have been closely monitoring and developing reopening plans for the 2020-2021 school year.

These plans include multiple phases and options pending what policies may be put in place by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) and recommended guidelines from the Louisiana Department of Education, Louisiana Department of Health and the Governor’s Office.

Murphy said Livingston Parish Public Schools still plans to begin school on Aug. 7.

“Our leadership team created a COVID Committee of administrators – representatives from all grade levels for elementary, middle and high school – who have been working closely with individual school principals over the past few weeks to develop reopening plans. This has been a highly collaborative effort,” Murphy said. 

“Although current guidelines are in place, and our committee is taking action to adhere to those recommendations, we know those guidelines are subject to change. As a result, Livingston Schools will be issuing a parent transportation survey by Friday of this week to ascertain how our students will enter and exit our campuses during the phased reopening.”

“Livingston Schools is defining three general plans for reopening – Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3. These options give general structural plans that can be quickly implemented to meet guidelines,” he said.

Phase 1  

Livingston Schools will be forced to open schools with all students in a virtual environment, save for a very few small groups with specific needs who would require fact-to-face instruction and interaction.

Phase 2  

Livingston Schools would reopen in a blended format with an alternating schedule that facilitates student learning through both virtual and in-person instruction. In this phase, Livingston Schools would maximize, to the greatest extent possible, the number of days students can attend their home campuses while remaining within established guidelines.

Phase 3  

Livingston Schools would welcome students back to their home campuses with social distancing provisions in place, including some restrictions on activities during the school day to remain within established guidelines. This phase is the most desired among education professionals and local families based on feedback from individual school principals who have been in contact with their faculty, staff and parents.

“It’s important to note that BESE has been obligated by the State Legislature, through the passage of House Bill 59, to adopt and implement policies regarding COVID-19 and the reopening of school for all districts no later than July 15,” Murphy said. “Our administrative committee is anxiously awaiting the release of the state’s plan, and based on those recommended guidelines, will announce which phase we open with and give more details of how that will look, no later than July 17.” 

“Be assured that Livingston Schools is working on a fully functional plan that is focused on what is in the best interest of the education, health and well-being of all our students, employees and surrounding communities,” Murphy said.  

“Much thanks to all our employees, parents and community members for their continued support of our system, their patience in this uncertain time, and their faith in our ability to work together to implement a plan that is best for everyone.”

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Brazil's President Bolsonaro tests positive for COVID-19 https://www.wbrz.com/news/brazil-s-president-bolsonaro-tests-positive-for-covid-19/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/brazil-s-president-bolsonaro-tests-positive-for-covid-19/ Coronavirus Tue, 7 Jul 2020 10:52:16 AM Associated Press Brazil's President Bolsonaro tests positive for COVID-19

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro says he has tested positive for COVID-19 after months of downplaying the virus’ severity.

Bolsonaro confirmed the test results while wearing a mask and speaking to reporters in capital Brasilia.

“I’m well, normal. I even want to take a walk around here, but I can’t due to medical recommendationS,” Bolsonaro said.

The president has often appeared in public to shake hands with supporters and mingle with crowds, at times without a mask. He has said that his history as an athlete would protect him from the virus, and that it would be nothing more than a “little flu” were he to contract it.

He has also repeatedly said that there is no way to prevent 70% of the population falling ill with COVID-19, and that local authorities’ measures to shut down economic activity would ultimately cause more hardship than allowing the virus to run its course.

Cities and states last month began lifting restrictions that had been imposed to control the spread of the virus, as their statistical curves of deaths began to decline along with the occupation rate of its intensive-care units. Brazil, the world’s sixth most populous nation, with more than 210 million people, is one of the global hot spots of the pandemic.

On Monday, Bolsonaro told supporters in Brasilia that he underwent an X-ray of his lungs that showed they were clean, and that he would be tested for COVID-19. On Tuesday, he told CNN Brasil that his fever had subsided.

Over the weekend, the Brazilian leader celebrated the U.S. Independence Day with the nation’s ambassador to Brazil, then shared pictures on social media showing him with his arm around the ambassador alongside several ministers and aides.

None wore masks, despite being in close quarters.

The U.S. Embassy said on Twitter on Monday that Ambassador Todd Chapman is not showing any COVID-19 symptoms but would be tested.

Bolsonaro tested negative three times in March after meeting with the U.S. President Donald Trump in Florida. Multiple members of his delegation to the U.S. were later reported to be infected with the virus.

More than 65,000 Brazilians have so far died from COVID-19 and more than 1,500,000 have been infected. Both numbers are the world’s second-highest totals, and are considered to be undercounts to the lack of widespread testing.

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CareSouth, Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church to host community testing site, supplies giveaway, Saturday https://www.wbrz.com/news/caresouth-shiloh-missionary-baptist-church-to-host-community-testing-site-supplies-giveaway-saturday/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/caresouth-shiloh-missionary-baptist-church-to-host-community-testing-site-supplies-giveaway-saturday/ Coronavirus Tue, 7 Jul 2020 10:31:35 AM WBRZ Staff CareSouth, Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church to host community testing site, supplies giveaway, Saturday

BATON ROUGE – CareSouth Medical and Dental and Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church are hosting a COVID-19 Drive-thru Community Testing and Supplies Giveaway on Saturday, July 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Shiloh, 185 Eddie Robinson Sr. Drive, in Baton Rouge.

CareSouth staff will be conducting the testing for up to 250 people. Patients must be tested first in order to receive the supplies and must pre-register to get the test. Residents will stay in their cars for the testing and the supplies. No walkups are allowed. No more than four people per car for testing.

The testing is open to anyone ages 12 and up with or without symptoms and with and without insurance. No doctor’s order required. There are no out-of-pocket expenses. If a patient has insurance, their insurance will be billed. If they don’t have insurance, CareSouth will cover the cost. 

“We’re excited to partner with Shiloh to help make COVID-19 testing more accessible to everyone in our community, especially those who are most at risk,” said Matthew Valliere, CareSouth CEO. "Getting tested is the only way to help stop the spread."

 “This is a great opportunity to bring the testing to our members, their families and the community at large," said Rev. Fred Jeff Smith, Pastor of Shiloh. "We’re very grateful to CareSouth for providing this service."

To pre-register, go to caresouth.org and fill out the registration form or call (225) 650-2000. The testing will be done on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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Capital Area Transit System (CATS) reminds riders to wear masks https://www.wbrz.com/news/capital-area-transit-system-cats-reminds-riders-to-wear-masks/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/capital-area-transit-system-cats-reminds-riders-to-wear-masks/ Coronavirus Tue, 7 Jul 2020 10:02:47 AM WBRZ Staff Capital Area Transit System (CATS) reminds riders to wear masks

BATON ROUGE - Residents in the Capital City have been diligent when it comes to wearing masks, according to Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome during a Tuesday morning interview with WBRZ.

Later that morning, Capital Area Transit System (CATS) reminded residents that just as they must wear masks while frequenting local businesses, all riders must have a mask or some form of face-covering over their nose and mouth in order to ride CATS vehicles.

The transportation department went on to say that customers without face-coverings are subject to denial of boarding as well as removal from the transit system.

Those who make use of CATS buses and other forms of transportation can keep up with announcements from the organization via its Twitter account or website.

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Wall Street slips as virus outbreaks dim rebound hopes https://www.wbrz.com/news/wall-street-slips-as-virus-outbreaks-dim-rebound-hopes/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/wall-street-slips-as-virus-outbreaks-dim-rebound-hopes/ Coronavirus Tue, 7 Jul 2020 9:00:26 AM Associated Press Wall Street slips as virus outbreaks dim rebound hopes

U.S. stocks are falling in early trading Tuesday as expanding coronavirus outbreaks dim hopes for a speedy recovery.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average followed benchmarks in France, Germany and Britain lower after the European Union slashed its forecasts for economic growth in 2020.

Investors worry that recovery from the global recession and the lockdowns on businesses will take longer than expected.

Stocks also fell in Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong, while the Shanghai Composite index advanced.

Precious metals and crude oil prices also fell, as did the 10-year Treasury yield.

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World Championship Gumbo Cookoff 2020 postponed https://www.wbrz.com/news/world-championship-gumbo-cookoff-2020-postponed/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/world-championship-gumbo-cookoff-2020-postponed/ Coronavirus Tue, 7 Jul 2020 8:22:52 AM WBRZ Staff World Championship Gumbo Cookoff 2020 postponed

NEW IBERIA - Iberia Chamber of Commerce (GICC) announced Tuesday that the 2020 World Championship Gumbo Cookoff will be postponed until 2021.

The decision is the result of the resurgence of the spread of COVID-19.

“We all love gumbo and the gumbo event, but when it came to the final decision the board vote was about doing everything the chamber can, as a leading organization, to protect our greatest asset which is our people," reported Wendell Verret, first vice-chair/gumbo event chair.

"The chamber’s work is dedicated to creating the best quality of life possible. Seeing Iberia Parish and regional COVID-19 cases increasing again, not moving into Phase III of the state’s re-opening plan are all indicators that hosting such a large event is not in the best interest of our residents and visitors."

However, plans are underway to offer a virtual gumbo experience which will take gumbo to the world, since the world cannot come to Iberia Parish this year.

The proposed event is inevitably a marketing strategy for the return of the World Championship Gumbo CookOff on October 9-10, 2021, and for Iberia Parish businesses and attractions.

Click here for more information on the World Championship Gumbo Cookoff.

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Central Area Youth League cancels remaining games of season due to COVID-19 https://www.wbrz.com/news/central-area-youth-league-cancels-remaining-games-of-season-due-to-covid-19/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/central-area-youth-league-cancels-remaining-games-of-season-due-to-covid-19/ Coronavirus Tue, 7 Jul 2020 5:51:20 AM WBRZ Staff Central Area Youth League cancels remaining games of season due to COVID-19

CENTRAL - The Central Area Youth League announced Monday (July 6) that due to the recent statewide uptick in cases of novel coronavirus, all remaining games of the season have been canceled. 

Bill Ensminger, the League's Commissioner, said the decision was made shortly after four of the League's teams revealed, over the weekend, that either a coach and/or parent tested positive for COVID-19.   

After learning this, BREC suggested the League suspend play for three weeks, and officials decided to simply cancel the remainder of the season. 

Ensminger's full statement is issued below: 

The CAYL Board and staff regret to announce that we have decided to cancel the current all remaining games this season out of precaution of safety and concern for all involved.

Unfortunately, we had 4 of our teams that have contacted us this weekend who have had either a coach and/or a parent test positive for COVID-19. 

As of this time, we have not heard of any children that have tested positive for COVID-19.

BREC suggests that we suspend play for three weeks but that would run our season into the start of school.

This is not an option, therefore we have cancelled all remaining games this season. It was our intention to play this summer to give the kids an activity after the lockdown and hopefully we were able to provide that for you and your family.

This was a very difficult decision. We will try as hard as we can to have a Fall League which will be dependent on the health status of our community.

Click here for additional information on The Central Area Youth League. 

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State Farm plans another car insurance rate cut in Louisiana https://www.wbrz.com/news/state-farm-plans-another-car-insurance-rate-cut-in-louisiana/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/state-farm-plans-another-car-insurance-rate-cut-in-louisiana/ Coronavirus Tue, 7 Jul 2020 5:25:49 AM Associated Press State Farm plans another car insurance rate cut in Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s largest auto insurer is slashing its rates again, as fewer drivers are on the road because of the coronavirus outbreak.

State Farm, which covers nearly one-third of the private passenger car insurance market, will cut its auto rates in the state by 9.6%, a move approved and announced Monday by Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon.

It’s the fourth rate cut that State Farm has made in the last two years, according to the insurance department.

The latest reduction will begin Aug. 24 for new policies and renewals after that date. The Advocate reports the new rate drop is expected to save $131 million across the company’s 1 million policy holders in Louisiana.

Despite recent premium cuts for 1.4 million Louisiana drivers, the state’s car insurance rates remain among the most expensive in the country.

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Broadway actor dies at 41 due to coronavirus complications https://www.wbrz.com/news/broadway-actor-dies-at-41-due-to-coronavirus-complications/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/broadway-actor-dies-at-41-due-to-coronavirus-complications/ Coronavirus Mon, 6 Jul 2020 7:16:47 AM WBRZ Staff Broadway actor dies at 41 due to coronavirus complications

A 41-year-old Broadway star has succumbed to complications associated with COVID-19.

According to CNN, Nick Cordero passed away after battling the illness for 95 days. 

His wife, Amanda Kloots, informed the public via her Instagram account on Sunday night, stating: "My darling husband passed away this morning. He was surrounded in love by his family, singing and praying as he gently left this earth."

View this post on Instagram

God has another angel in heaven now. My darling husband passed away this morning. He was surrounded in love by his family, singing and praying as he gently left this earth. ? I am in disbelief and hurting everywhere. My heart is broken as I cannot imagine our lives without him. Nick was such a bright light. He was everyone’s friend, loved to listen, help and especially talk. He was an incredible actor and musician. He loved his family and loved being a father and husband. Elvis and I will miss him in everything we do, everyday. ? To Nicks extraordinary doctor, Dr. David Ng, you were my positive doctor! There are not many doctors like you. Kind, smart, compassionate, assertive and always eager to listen to my crazy ideas or call yet another doctor for me for a second opinion. You’re a diamond in the rough. ? ? I cannot begin to thank everyone enough for the outpour of love , support and help we’ve received these last 95 days. You have no idea how much you lifted my spirits at 3pm everyday as the world sang Nicks song, Live Your Life. We sang it to him today, holding his hands. As I sang the last line to him, “they’ll give you hell but don’t you light them kill your light not without a fight. Live your life,” I smiled because he definitely put up a fight. I will love you forever and always my sweet man. ??

A post shared by AK! ?? (@amandakloots) on

Kloots has been regularly updating her social media accounts with news of her husband's ups and downs as he fought the virus.

Born in Canada, Cordero grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, and eventually made his way to the Big Apple.

In 2014 he was nominated for a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award his role in "Bullets Over Broadway," a role that earned him a Theatre World Award and Outer Critics Circle Award.

He met Kloots, a fitness trainer and former Broadway dancer, when they were both performing in "Bullets over Broadway" and they married in 2017.

According to Kloots, Cordero was initially hospitalized in March at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

She shared on social media that Cordero spent some time on a ventilator, suffered multiple Covid-19 complications and in April had to have his leg amputated.

He spent weeks unconscious, even as doctors brought him out of sedation, and the hashtag campaign #WakeUpNick sprung up on social media to support Cordero as he recovered.

In May, Kloots posted that her husband was awake and while very weak, was making progress.

"Even closing his eyes, takes it out of him," she said. "They're waiting for him to regain strength, of course, time and recovery will help with that and then eventually PT will help him get stronger."

Earlier in the month she had said her husband had a low blood count.

Actor, Zack Braff, a close friend of Cordero's who starred alongside him in Bullets Over Broadway took to Twitter to mourn Cordero's passing, saying, "Nick Cordero passed at 11:40am today with his mother and wife by his side. I can honesty tell you I have never met a kinder human being. Don't believe that Covid only claims the elderly and infirm. I am so grateful for the time we had. 'We'll catch up some other time.'"

Braff also shared his final text with Cordero, a request that the Scrubs star take care of his family.

"The last thing he ever texted me was to look out for his wife and one year old son, Elvis," Braff wrote. "I promise the world they will never want for anything. I feel so incredibly grateful I got to have Nick Cordero enter my life. Rest In Peace. Rest in Power."

In addition to Kloots, Cordero is survived by their 1-year-old son, Elvis.

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Officials aim to test up to 5,000 daily during 'Geaux Get Tested' initiative https://www.wbrz.com/news/officials-aim-to-test-up-to-5-000-daily-during-geaux-get-tested-initiative/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/officials-aim-to-test-up-to-5-000-daily-during-geaux-get-tested-initiative/ Coronavirus Mon, 6 Jul 2020 5:52:32 AM WBRZ Staff Officials aim to test up to 5,000 daily during 'Geaux Get Tested' initiative

BATON ROUGE - The federal government is supporting East Baton Rouge Parish's efforts to test up to 5,000 residents daily at four new coronavirus testing sites in the parish.

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome issued information regarding the new drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites early Monday morning, stating they would be set up and ready to function by Tuesday, July 7 at 8 a.m. at the following locations:

-LSU – Alex Box Stadium parking lot (Gourrier Ave, Baton Rouge, La 70820)

-Southern University– FG Clark parking lot (801 Harding Blvd, Baton Rouge, La 70807)

-Cortana Mall (9701 Cortana Pl, Baton Rouge, La 70815)

- Mobile Testing Site: Healing Place Church (19202 Highland Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70810)  The Healing Place Church site will operate Wednesday, July 8 – Saturday, July 18, with the exception of Sunday, July 12

- Lamar Dixon Expo Center (9039 S St Landry Ave, Gonzales, LA 70737)

A previous plan to use the Fairgrounds at BREC’s Airline Highway Park has been canceled. 

The purpose of the testing sites is, according to the press release, "support communities that have been identified as COVID-19 hotspots, or communities where there has been a recent and intense level of new cases and hospitalizations related to the ongoing outbreak."

Officials say the testing initiative is aimed at stamping out a dramatic increase in virus cases. The biggest increases in cases continue to be in the 18 to 29 age group. There are also upticks in young people under 18 and in people aged 30 to 39.

Once patients are tested, results should take 3-5 days. 

All four of the sites will be open from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., seven days a week.

Test sites will open for 12 days, from Tuesday, July 7 to Saturday, July 18.

It is not required to pre-register for a test but encouraged at: www.DoINeedaCOVID19test.com. On-site registration will be accommodated, but it will take longer than arriving with your pre-registration complete and your QR Code either on your phone or printed from the registration site. Those who arrive pre-registered will be escorted to the express line.

In order to be tested at a HHS test site, patients must provide:

- Telephone number

-Email address

- An ID is NOT required

-Scan the QR code below to access the eTrueNorth portal (where you can find your test results)

These HHS sites are using the laboratory eTrueNorth to process the test. According to eTrueNorth, it should take between 3 and 5 days for someone who is tested to get their results.

-Test results will be provided by email notification (required to log back into website to view).

- If someone tests positive, they will also be contacted by phone.

- Test results will also be posted in the eTrueNorth patient portal.

There is not a phone number to call for results. Results will only be provided by email and in the portal.

If you test positive for COVID-19, or if you were in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you will be contacted by contact tracers calling from (877) 766-2130—save this number in your phone. During that call, you can be connected to resources that are available to help you safely quarantine.

LDH strongly urges you to self-quarantine while you wait for your test result.

Testing does not replace quarantining. If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, you should self-quarantine at your home and away from others, including your family if possible, for 14 days since the date of exposure.

Even if your test comes back negative prior to end of the quarantine period, you still need to remain quarantined for the full 14 days.

This is because the incubation period for the virus can be up to 14 days and unless you were tested on the 14th day from your exposure, a negative test earlier in the quarantine period does not mean you are not infected.

The testing effort is supported locally by the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the Louisiana National Guard and the Louisiana Department of Health.

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Mask mandate starts to mixed reviews in Baton Rouge Friday https://www.wbrz.com/news/mask-mandate-starts-to-mixed-reviews-in-baton-rouge-friday/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/mask-mandate-starts-to-mixed-reviews-in-baton-rouge-friday/ Coronavirus Fri, 3 Jul 2020 5:07:33 PM Tristen Land Mask mandate starts to mixed reviews in Baton Rouge Friday

BATON ROUGE - Heading out to do shopping may be a little different now.

Staff members are stationed at the door providing masks, while security stands by to make sure you have it on.

Rouses Supermarket is one of many local grocery stores following the mayor's executive order.

"I think it gives us a sense of security, we see thousands of customers a day," said Store Director, Donna Medere-Dickerson.

The order requires grocery stores, restaurants, casinos and other businesses to implement a "no mask- no service" policy.

If someone fails to comply they could be slapped with a fine of up to $200 and could spend no more than 60 days in jail.

Some shoppers are on the fence.

" I think it's sort of unnecessary at this point, but I see why they are doing it. I think a lot of it has something to do with picking up fees," said shopper John Luther.

Shoppers like Renee Valconi, says it's about protecting and ensuring the health of others.

" I think whatever is best for the community, whatever is best for people's health you to do it. It's not about your own personal feelings, it's about what's best for others," says Valconi.

Mayor Broome made a stop at the supermarket and other businesses across the town to see the order in full effect.

"So our goal is not to enforce our way out of this, our goal is not to be punitive, our goal is to have everyone to have a healthy lifestyle," said Mayor Broome.

With the mandate in place, most shoppers are confident that the right thing is being done.

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MLB cancels All-Star Game for first time since 1945 https://www.wbrz.com/news/mlb-cancels-all-star-game-for-first-time-since-1945/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/mlb-cancels-all-star-game-for-first-time-since-1945/ Coronavirus Fri, 3 Jul 2020 12:57:26 PM Associated Press MLB cancels All-Star Game for first time since 1945

LOS ANGELES -- Dodger Stadium’s 40-year wait to host the All-Star Game is going to last even longer.

The game scheduled for July 14 was canceled Friday because of the coronavirus pandemic, and Dodger Stadium was awarded the 2022 Midsummer Classic. The 2021 game is set for Atlanta’s Truist Park, home to the Braves since 2017.

Because of the pandemic, opening day had already been delayed from March 26 to July 23 or 24.

“Once it became clear we were unable to hold this year’s All-Star festivities, we wanted to award the Dodgers with the next available All-Star Game, which is 2022,” baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.

This will be the first time since 1945 that no game will be held. Travel restrictions because of World War II kept the game scheduled for Boston’s Fenway Park and any player selections from taking place that year. It was pushed back to the next season.

The Dodgers hosted the only the Mid-Summer Classic in Dodger Stadium history in 1980, won 4-2 by the National League.

The stadium —third-oldest in baseball behind Fenway and Chicago’s Wrigley Field — is the only park in the majors not to have increased its 56,000-seat capacity since it opened in 1962.

That’s not to say it hasn’t changed, however.

Since 2013, the stadium that overlooks downtown Los Angeles has undergone a series of structural and behind-the-scenes improvements, including two entrance plazas on the field level, tiered seating and bar areas overlooking both bullpens. The ballpark has also gotten new HD video screens and sound systems, wider concourses and renovated restrooms, kids play areas, displays to honor the franchise’s storied history, new home and visiting clubhouses and batting cages.

And that doesn’t include the $100 million in renovations that helped the Dodgers land the 2020 game. Those feature two acres of food and entertainment offerings in a new center field plaza and spruced-up outfield pavilions. Also added were elevators, escalators and bridges to improve circulation around the ballpark without changing its picturesque look and feel. The speaker tower sound system in center field is being replaced. New so-called “home run seats” are being added in front of existing outfield seats.

The coronavirus delayed the start of the season and also slowed work at the stadium. In mid-April, retired Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully narrated a brief video of the project.

“When we get back to baseball, Dodger fans will be greeted with the most significant upgrade to the fan experience in the history of our storied venue,” he said.

“When exactly will that return to Dodger Stadium take place? Well, as that noted baseball philosopher Yogi Berra once said, ‘I wish I had an answer to that because I’m tired of answering that question,? Scully said, chuckling.

Scully, now 92, announced the 1959 All-Star game hosted by the Dodgers at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (the second such game played that year). He joined Mel Allen on the call for NBC on Aug. 3.

It was the first Mid-Summer Classic to be played on the West Coast, and also one of only two games to be played outside the month of July. The other was in 1981, when it was held on Aug. 9 because of the players’ strike.

The Dodgers also hosted the game at Ebbets Field in 1949 before they moved to the West Coast from Brooklyn.

The Dodgers have produced four different All-Star Game MVPs: Maury Wills in 1962; Steve Garvey in 1974 and ’78; Don Sutton in 1977; and Mike Piazza in 1996. From the 87-year-old Wills to the 51-year-old Piazza, all are still living and may have played a part in this year’s festivities.

Scully would surely have made an appearance, either in person or via video, where he has turned up several times since retiring in 2016. He and Brent Musburger worked the 1980 game in LA for CBS radio.

The Dodgers had been planning to host the 91st All-Star Game since being chosen in 2018. They sent teams of planners to Washington, D.C., in 2018 and Cleveland last year to study what did and didn’t work for those host cities.

Besides the Futures Game, Home Run Derby and All-Star Game over three days at the stadium, there would have been a Fan Fest and other events and commercial tie-ins around the game.

In February 2018, the Los Angeles City Council estimated an economic impact of $89.4 million from hosting the game. The Dodgers had committed to paying $100,000 for city services needed as part of the game.

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Miami mayor closes certain businesses, issues curfew following COVID-related death of 11-year-old https://www.wbrz.com/news/miami-mayor-closes-certain-businesses-issues-curfew-following-covid-related-death-of-11-year-old/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/miami-mayor-closes-certain-businesses-issues-curfew-following-covid-related-death-of-11-year-old/ Coronavirus Fri, 3 Jul 2020 10:11:16 AM Paula Jones Miami mayor closes certain businesses, issues curfew following COVID-related death of 11-year-old

MIAMI, Floriday - As Florida reports over 169,000 cases of novel coronavirus and more than 16,000 deaths, one of the state's most recent COVID-19 fatalities includes an 11-year-old boy from Miami-Dade County.

Florida's Department of Health says the boy is the youngest person in the state to succumb to the disease.

According to CNN, his death marks the state's third loss of a child due to complications stemming from novel coronavirus.

The other two minors who passed away after contracting the illness included a 16-year-old girl in Lee County and a 17-year-old boy in Pasco County.

Recent health records indicate the 11-year-old's case was not travel-related, and that he suffered from underlying health conditions.

According to the Associated Press, shortly after news of the child's death, Miami's mayor issued a new overnight curfew and announced that certain businesses, which had just reopened in June, would have to once again close their doors to customers. 

The curfew goes into effect Friday (July 3) night from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and will be in place for an indefinite period of time. 

Mayor Carlos Gimenez's new order requires the shuttering of casinos, movie theaters and other entertainment venues.

“This curfew is meant to stop people from venturing out and hanging out with friends in groups, which has shown to be spreading the virus rapidly,” Gimenez said in a statement.

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Ascension Parish outlines Aug. 5 school reopening plans https://www.wbrz.com/news/ascension-parish-outlines-aug-5-school-reopening-plans/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/ascension-parish-outlines-aug-5-school-reopening-plans/ Coronavirus Thu, 2 Jul 2020 3:08:17 PM Trey Schmaltz Ascension Parish outlines Aug. 5 school reopening plans

GONZALES - The Ascension Parish School System is outlining how schools there will reopen amid the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis.

The school district revealed a special website for parents to track reopening plans, which are listed in phases: 1 through 3.  The district said more guidance will be released by July 17.

The website is: www.apsb.org/2020-21.

"Our schools and district leaders have been working on detailed plans for reopening schools and providing educational services this fall using the Louisiana Department of Education's guidelines," said Ascension Public Schools Superintendent David Alexander. "There are many logistics that must be worked out such as classroom layouts/assignments, student meal service, bus transportation, and online education options. We are using the feedback provided by parents in the survey sent on June 18th to help shape flexible education plans to meet the needs of over 23,000 students."

The school system plans to reopen campuses on August 5 and will spend the weeks leading up disinfecting school buildings and buses, installing water bottle fillers and preparing for modified food service.

At each school, the district will organize daily temperature checks for students. 

The district said for those who are not comfortable returning to a school building, online learning programs will be offered.


BUS OPERATIONS: Students should be seated one per seat in every other seat when riding a bus.

MAXIMUM GROUP SIZES: State guidelines are no more than 10 people including a teacher/staff member in a classroom. Individuals to maintain 6-feet of spacing to the greatest extent possible.

FREQUENT HAND WASHING: Handwashing/hand sanitizer is recommended at arrival, at least every two hours, before and after eating, before and after using outdoor play equipment, and at exit.

FACE COVERINGS: Face coverings are recommended for adults and third graders and above. Individuals with severe breathing difficulties should not wear face coverings.

SYMPTOM MONITORING: Assess students on arrival and throughout the day, including conducting an initial temperature check.

ATHLETICS: Refrain from contact and high-risk sports.


BUS OPERATIONS: State guidelines are 50% of manufacturer's capacity.

MAXIMUM GROUP SIZES: State guidelines are no more than 25 people including a teacher/staff member in a classroom. Individuals to maintain 6-feet of spacing to the greatest extent possible.

FREQUENT HAND WASHING: Handwashing/hand sanitizer is recommended at arrival, at least every two hours, before and after eating, before and after using outdoor play equipment, and at exit.

FACE COVERINGS: Face coverings are recommended for adults and third graders and above. Individuals with severe breathing difficulties should not wear face coverings.

SYMPTOM MONITORING: Assess students on arrival and throughout the day, including conducting an initial temperature check.

ATHLETICS: Refrain from contact and high-risk sports.



Our goal for Phase Two is to serve all preschool through fifth grade students in our buildings on a daily basis. Middle and high school students will be served through both online learning and on-campus in alternating schedules. Details of these schedules may vary by school.

Full bus capacity for primary schools is 72 students, so buses will run with no more than 36 students in Phase Two. This may require double routes and staggered arrival and dismissal times.

We believe we can achieve 4 to 5 feet of spacing in our classrooms in Phase Two. Groups will stay static as much as possible in primary schools and possibly middle schools. When students change classrooms, shared surface spaces will be sanitized.

Temperatures will be checked every day by first period. Students will be given several opportunities to wash hands and/or use hand sanitizer throughout the day.


BUS OPERATIONS: State guidelines are 75% of manufacturer's capacity.

MAXIMUM GROUP SIZES: State guidelines are no more than 50 people including a teacher/staff member in a classroom. Individuals to maintain 6-feet of spacing to the greatest extent possible.

FREQUENT HAND WASHING: Handwashing/hand sanitizer is recommended at arrival, at least every two hours, before and after eating, before and after using outdoor play equipment, and at exit.

FACE COVERINGS: Face coverings are recommended for adults and third graders and above. Individuals with severe breathing difficulties should not wear face coverings.

SYMPTOM MONITORING: Assess students on arrival and throughout the day, including conducting an initial temperature check.

ATHLETICS: Contact/high-risk sports are allowable within defined groups.



Our goal for Phase Three is to serve all students in our buildings as frequently as possible. We believe we can achieve this on a daily basis at all primary schools. Our larger schools may serve students on-campus in alternating schedules and through online learning. Details of these schedules may vary by school.

Buses will likely run regular routes for middle and high schools. Primary schools may still require multiple routes.

We believe we can achieve between 4 to 5 feet of spacing in our classrooms in Phase Three. Groups will stay static as much as possible. When students change classrooms, shared surface spaces will be sanitized.

Temperatures will be checked every day by first period. Students will be given several opportunities to wash hands and/or use hand sanitizer throughout the day.

Although the recommendation for face coverings remains the same for all three phases, we strongly encourage students to wear face coverings with larger groups while in our buildings.

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As mask mandate goes into effect, Baton Rouge quickly adjusts https://www.wbrz.com/news/as-mask-mandate-goes-into-effect-baton-rouge-quickly-adjusts/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/as-mask-mandate-goes-into-effect-baton-rouge-quickly-adjusts/ Coronavirus Fri, 3 Jul 2020 8:44:11 AM Paula Jones As mask mandate goes into effect, Baton Rouge quickly adjusts

BATON ROUGE - As of noon on Friday, July 3 patrons of businesses in Louisiana's capital city are no longer allowed to enter a business without wearing a mask or face-covering.

Federal and state health officials agree that wearing a mask or face covering can help decrease the chance of someone spreading COVID-19. The CDC recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings and when around people who don’t live in one's household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. 

Experts agree that people who have novel coronavirus are often asymptomatic, and can spread the virus without even realizing they're carriers.

This information, coupled with the recent uptick in coronavirus cases in the capital city, led Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome to make it a matter of law that all patrons of businesses wear masks. 

Mayor Broome issued the mask mandate Wednesday and initially wanted it to go in effect the following day.

But many business owners, a bit thrown by the seemingly sudden order, had questions about the new regulation, especially regarding how they were expected to enforce it.  

After receiving pushback, Mayor Broome acquiesced and agreed the mandate would go into effect Friday. She also took measures to clarify certain aspects of the order.

The mandate requires that all commercial and nonprofit entities in the parish providing goods or services directly to the public require patrons to wear masks or face coverings.

Businesses have been encouraged to post signs at their entrances informing the public about the requirement, though there are certain situations where the mask won't be required, like while eating or drinking inside an establishment.

On Wednesday, during a webinar with the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, Mayor Broome addressed questions regarding enforcement of the order, stating that law enforcement will not seek offenders simply to issue summons for not wearing masks. Most of the enforcement will come through tips from the public regarding businesses not complying.

Violators face misdemeanor fines not to exceed $200 and/or no more than 60 days in jail.

The Baton Rouge Police Department and the city's fire department won't issue any summons until the third time a business has been reported for non-compliance.

"We want people to get it in their hearts and mind the value of wearing a mask," Broome said. "If we go into this situation with the attitude of trying to save a life and save our economy simultaneously, then we'll get through this successfully."

The mask mandate is in effect until Monday, August 3, 2020.

Click here to view the official order. 

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Baton Rouge businesses prepare for mask requirement to begin Friday https://www.wbrz.com/news/baton-rouge-businesses-prepare-for-mask-requirement-to-begin-friday/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/baton-rouge-businesses-prepare-for-mask-requirement-to-begin-friday/ Coronavirus Thu, 2 Jul 2020 6:31:36 PM Tristen Land Baton Rouge businesses prepare for mask requirement to begin Friday

BATON ROUGE - With less than 24 hours until Baton Rouge's mask requirement goes into effect, local business owners are bracing for the change.

"You have to have a mask to enter the establishment. It's just going to be what it has to be at this point," Mike Anderson's Restaurant General Manager Joshua Jones said.

After a surge in coronavirus cases across the capital city, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome is making face masks inside businesses a requirement.

"Everything's been a big challenge for us as a business from the beginning of this whole deal. But it's something we've just adapted to, and everything that they throw at us we just keep pushing forward," Jones said.

Mike Anderson's Restaurant has already placed the "no mask, no service" policy on the doors.

"I think it's going to be a good thing as a whole," Jones said.

Jacqueline Richardson is a stylist at Happy Hair. She says they already have safety guidelines for customers, and masks are a great addition.

"All the craziness that this virus has brought us, I just feel so protected with all the new orders that we have in place," Richardson said.

But some businesses expect pushback over the new Baton Rouge order.

"You don't want to put people in a bubble and make them feel like they have to wear masks. I feel like that's going to affect people's businesses because some people are just going to refuse to do it," said Marissa Gremillon, with True Indigo Boutique.

The confusion surrounding masks is why Gremillion says she feels wearing it should be a personal choice.

"I don't want to lose potential customers because they refuse to put a mask on. I feel like it should be their decision whether they want to put it on or not," she said.

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Texas governor issues mask order to fight coronavirus https://www.wbrz.com/news/texas-governor-issues-mask-order-to-fight-coronavirus/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/texas-governor-issues-mask-order-to-fight-coronavirus/ Coronavirus Thu, 2 Jul 2020 5:55:58 PM Associated Press Texas governor issues mask order to fight coronavirus

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday ordered that face coverings must be worn in public across most of the state, a dramatic ramp up of the Republican’s efforts to control spiking numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

Abbott, who had pushed Texas’ aggressive reopening of the state economy in May, had previously said the government could not order individuals to wear masks. His prior virus-related orders had undercut efforts by local governments to enforce mask requirements.

But faced with dramatically rising numbers of both newly confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus and the number of patients so sick they needed to be hospitalized, Abbott changed course with Thursday’s mask order. It requires “all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions.”

“We are now at a point where the virus is spreading so fast, there is little margin for error,” Abbott said.

Texas reported 7,915 newly confirmed cases, a slight dip after zooming past the 8,000 mark for the first time on Wednesday. The 7,382 hospitalizations means the state has more than quadrupled its numbers in that category since the end of May.

The true number of cases is likely much higher because many people have not been tested and studies suggest that people can be infected and not feel sick.

The mask order takes effect Friday. As of Thursday, 176 of the state’s 254 counties had reported more 20 or more confirmed COVID-19 cases and include most of the state’s population. Counties with fewer than 20 cover mostly rural areas.

Mask order violators can be fined up to $250. There are exceptions for people who have a medical condition or disability, who are exercising outdoors, or who are participating in a religious service or voting. Texas this week began its month-long early voting period for its primary elections.

Abbott also gave mayors and county authorities the ability to ban outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people.

In his order and a statement, Abbott said wearing a mask is a proven method to slowing down the virus’ spread and said if Texans comply “more extreme measures may be avoided.”

Abbott has said he doesn’t want to roll back his previous orders to reopen the economy. But last week he moved to reclose bars and limit dine-in capacity in restaurants to 50%.

“We have the ability to keep businesses open and move our economy forward so that Texans can continue to earn a paycheck, but it requires each of us to do our part to protect one another — and that means wearing a face covering in public spaces,” Abbott said.

Abbott has been under extreme pressure from both Democrats and Republicans on his reopening plans.

Democrats, most notably the leadership of the state’s largest cities, have complained Abbott reopened Texas too quickly and have pointed to the record numbers of confirmed new cases and hospitalizations.

Conservative lawmakers battered Abbott’s early moves to combat the virus, including business, school and child-care closures and a stay-at-home order that expired in May.

In April, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called attempts by local governments in the Houston area to enforce mask orders with fines the “ultimate government overreach.”

“The move to mandate face masks comes far too little, far too late for Governor Abbott,” Texas Democratic Party Communications Director Abhi Rahman said. “Texans are still getting sick. Families are still suffering ... All of this could have been prevented if Governor Abbott had listened to experts and medical professionals in the first place.”

The Texas Medical Association applauded the mask order. The doctors’ group had urged the state Republican Party to cancel its in-person convention which starts July 16 in Houston. A statement from the group did not address the convention

“There is no question about it, face masks reduce the spread of COVID-19. They help protect the people wearing masks, and they help protect the people around them,” said the association’s president, Dr. Diana L. Fite.

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Face masks encouraged, not mandatory in Ascension & Livingston parishes https://www.wbrz.com/news/face-masks-encouraged-not-mandatory-in-ascension-and-livingston-parishes/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/face-masks-encouraged-not-mandatory-in-ascension-and-livingston-parishes/ Coronavirus Thu, 2 Jul 2020 4:08:36 PM WBRZ Staff Face masks encouraged, not mandatory in Ascension & Livingston parishes

On the heels of East Baton Rouge's mask mandate announcement, Ascension and Livingston leaders say the parishes have no plans of enforcing a mask requirement for now.

Parish President Clint Cointment said in a statement Thursday afternoon that Ascension Parish is "strongly encouraging" people to wear masks in public, but there is no plan for a mandate like Baton Rouge.

“I have conferred with Parish leaders, and we all concur that we must act to counter the recent rise of infections in Ascension Parish,” said Cointment. “We agree that we will not mandate the wearing of masks, but we certainly strongly encourage it.”

Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks gave a similar message, saying masks are encouraged, but there is no plan to mandate their use. 

Cointment also encourage to stick to the current statewide guidelines to slow the spread of the virus.

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La. governor's office staffer tests positive for coronavirus https://www.wbrz.com/news/la-governor-s-office-staffer-tests-positive-for-coronavirus/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/la-governor-s-office-staffer-tests-positive-for-coronavirus/ Coronavirus Thu, 2 Jul 2020 10:37:39 AM WBRZ Staff La. governor's office staffer tests positive for coronavirus

BATON ROUGE - Governor John Bel Edwards announced Thursday that a member of his staff tested positive for COVID-19.

The governor says the staffer who works in the capitol building tested positive on Wednesday. The person was said to be asymptomatic and will be in self-quarantine along with a dozen members of the governor's staff who were in contact with the individual.

That person is not believed to have come in close contact with the governor recently.

You can read the full statement from the governor below.

“Throughout this crisis, I have pledged transparency with the public, which is why I am disclosing today that a member of my team, who works in the State Capitol, tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday. So far, this person is asymptomatic and will be in self-quarantine, as will a dozen members of my staff, in alignment with the recommendations of the Louisiana Department of Health. Anyone in our circle that we believe had close contact with this person was notified on Wednesday night and advised to self-quarantine.”

“We are monitoring our team and, should it become necessary, will be offering testing to our staff members and tracing their contacts to determine who needs to self-quarantine and who could be at risk. The coronavirus has already had a devastating impact on my team, as we lost April Dunn just three months ago, and we are working hard to protect others from this illness. Our staff takes precautions, including wearing masks, to protect each other, and we are hopeful that by aggressively self-quarantining, and working remotely, we can reduce the likelihood that anyone else will be exposed. I am deeply grateful that this person did the right thing and quickly notified us so that we could take swift action.”

“As I have said over and over again, COVID-19 is alive and well in Louisiana, and all of the people of our state need to take this illness very seriously. Please wear a mask when you are in public, stay home if you feel sick or have been directly exposed to someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19, wash your hands frequently and keep at least six feet of social distance from other people when you are in public.”

“I am praying for the health and safety of all those who have tested positive for COVID-19, that they will recover quickly without great suffering. I am also praying that the people of Louisiana will take this illness seriously and redouble their efforts to slow the spread and prevent others from becoming sick.”

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Unemployment claims up as Louisiana fights COVID-19 https://www.wbrz.com/news/unemployment-claims-up-as-louisiana-fights-covid-19/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/unemployment-claims-up-as-louisiana-fights-covid-19/ Coronavirus Thu, 2 Jul 2020 10:23:03 AM Associated Press Unemployment claims up as Louisiana fights COVID-19

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Nearly 22,000 Louisiana residents filed new claims for unemployment last week, the state’s labor department reported Thursday.

The number of initial claims was up from fewer than 20,000 a week earlier. The figures show the continued effects of the fight against the new coronavirus. For the comparable week last year, initial unemployment claims were about 2,206.

The total number receiving unemployment benefits rose above 306,000 last week. For the comparable week last year, that figure was below 18,000.

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