Louisiana hospitals oppose effort to revoke virus emergency

Coronavirus

Vials with samples taken for the new coronavirus are counted before they are prepared for RNA testing at the molecular pathology lab at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Thursday, April 2, 2020. The test is identical to the PCR test being used by the Centers for Disease Control to ease the testing crisis and stop the spread of COVID-19, which has hit the New Orleans area especially hard. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana hospital leaders are warning that efforts to combat the coronavirus outbreak could be hampered by conservative House Republicans’ push to revoke Gov. John Bel Edwards’ public health emergency declaration.

The Louisiana Hospital Association is joining GOP House Speaker Clay Schexnayder in trying to discourage Republican lawmakers from signing a petition nullifying the Democratic governor’s virus response orders.

The petition requires support from a majority of the House or Senate. Supporters say Edwards is crippling the economy with his restrictions.

The hospital association argues removal of the emergency declaration would decrease health facilities’ ability to bring in nurses and doctors from other states, expand telemedicine services and increase bed capacity.

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