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State health officials brace for troublesome cold, flu season amid coronavirus pandemic

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BATON ROUGE - Louisiana health officials are expecting a difficult cold and flu season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

State Health Officer, Jimmy Guidry, testified Wednesday at the state capitol.

"I predict there's going to be another spike and it's going to be in flu season. And we're going to see as much if not more than what we saw in the spring," Guidry said. "That's not to terrorize people, that's to say we can do some things to minimize the spread. We're learning this as we go because we have not had a pandemic like this."

The response comes as Members of House Education and Health & Welfare Committees push for answers concerning the current capacity limitations at high school football games.

"It's all about being courteous to others, and I get taking other people into consideration. I'm concerned that maybe we're going a little bit overboard, particularly with the sporting events," House Education Committee Chairman Ray Garofalo said.

Crowd limitations at sporting events are currently capped at 25%, though the state has moved into Phase 3 of reopening the economy.

Guidry expressed his concerns on recent coronavirus testing, urging people to not let their guards down.

"Right now there's a false sense that we don't have that much of it [the coronavirus] around. It's out there, but we're not testing near as much as we have before. We're not testing kids where most may be right now because they're in school and they're being exposed," Guidry said.

Dr. Catherine O'Neal with Our Lady of the Lake also testified. She encouraged lawmakers to continue to support increased safety measures, like wearing a face covering to help slow the spread as flu season approaches.

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