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Local hospitals oppose efforts to end statewide mask mandate, restrictions

4 years 5 days 14 hours ago Thursday, July 16 2020 Jul 16, 2020 July 16, 2020 7:18 PM July 16, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Some Louisiana legislators are pushing back against measures being taken by Governor Edwards to combat the coronavirus.

At hospitals across Louisiana, health care workers are on the front line of the coronavirus crisis. The current emergency health declaration from the governor is aimed to help ease their burden and slow the spread.

But not everyone is in favor of the governor's declaration. Edward's recent orders to close bars and mandate masks revived attention from Republican lawmakers toward a petition that would put an end to it.

Shreveport Representative Alan Seabaugh authored a petition that needs 53 signatures from lawmakers to end the governor's state of emergency.

CEO Scott Wester of our Lady Of the Lake said ending the order would have devastating impacts on the health care system.

"We are very concerned that if something like that were to actually get issued and the emergency declaration goes away, it could really jeopardize all the great work we've put in place over the last couple of months. We want to make sure our front-line caregivers really send their voice to say 'Please. We've got to make sure we continue the measures we have in place.'"

CEO Edgardo Tenreiro of Baton Rouge General echoed that sentiment. He fears the end of the declaration would mean the end of Federal assistance.

"If we don't have an emergency declaration, that means the flow that we have of support from the Federal government will be more difficult or perhaps will cease. Specifically, the General has requested the assistance of the Navy to bring back medics and nurses so we can use Mid City as a surge hospital. That's the number one issue that I have," he said.

On Thursday, Wester put out a memo urging his employees to oppose the petition. You can read that below.

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