Gov. Edwards, state officials addresses high COVID-19 numbers ahead of Thanksgiving holiday

Coronavirus warnings issued ahead of Thanksgiving holiday

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The governor says Louisiana must get its act together to slow the spread of COVID by taking the mitigation mandates seriously.

“We’re going to have baked macaroni... turkey, greens, collard greens hopefully if I can find them,” said John Kramer, of Metairie.

As people get ready for Thanksgiving, many are trying to make it as normal as possible during an anything but a normal year.

“Close family. Just a couple of relatives and a nephew coming but that’s it. Not doing a big mixer,” Kramer said.

“Well we’re gonna do our regular immediate family at our house. And then we’re going to do some social distancing extended family later on in the day,” said Jeanne Kimble, of New Orleans.

And while some are staying in others are flying out. At Louis Armstrong, the airport is expecting a slight increase in traffic but still fewer travelers than this time last year.

“I’m not traveling. This is the end of my travels. I’ve been here for a week and traveling home to get out of the crazy,” said Steve Rowell, who was travelling from San Francisco.

Travelers are made to feel safe at the airport with hand sanitizer stations and touch-free payment options at kiosks and shops.

With a week before Thanksgiving, Governor John Bel Edwards urges Louisiana residents to change their usual plans saying the holiday could-- and very likely will-- cause an increase in COVID-19 cases.

Governor Edwards said additional restrictions would be enforced if things don’t change now.

“If we insist on this Thanksgiving looking like last Thanksgiving, and the other Thanksgivings we’ve come to know and so forth. Then we may make it very likely that Christmas a month from now is not going to be one that your family will get to celebrate,” Gov. Edwards said.

A grim warning and health officials--like Dr. Joseph Kanter with the Department of Health—agree. They say Louisiana has to do better.

“We need to be doing all we can to help one another,” Dr. Kanter said.

And to focus on what’s important *right now* while we wait for a vaccine to become available, which is still months away.

“Widespread, dissemination and administration of the vaccine is the way out of this. This is a real light at the end of the tunnel,” Dr. Kanter said.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, a representative from Louis Armstrong International says departures are up to 10-percent for the Thanksgiving holiday, but down 42-percent when compared to the same time last year.

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