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Hogan named to ‘Resilient Louisiana’ COVID-19 panel

Friday, April 17, 2020
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Ruston banker Bill Hogan has been named to the newly formed Resilient Louisiana Commission.

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced thepanel’s creation Thursday. The group is expected to hold a virtual meeting either today or early next week.

The 18-member commission is charged with examining Louisiana’s economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic and making recommendations for more resilient business-related activities and commerce.

“I’m honored to serve. I’ll do anything I can to help the state of Louisiana and our people,” Hogan said.

Hogan is president and CEO of Century Next Bank. He said the commission’s work would not be accomplished quickly, but would be a long-term project.

The commission includes representatives of small business, labor unions, tourism, restaurants, cybersecurity, the Legislature and several state agencies.

“COVID-19 represents a historic challenge to our ability to respond medically and save lives, but it also represents a tremendous challenge for Louisiana’s economy and the prosperity of each one of our residents,” Edwards said in a press release.

“For these reasons, we need a comprehensive game plan for creating a more resilient Louisiana.”

“I’m proud of the men and women who have accepted the challenge to tackle these important issues, and to ensure that Louisiana becomes a leader for the future safety and success of our people,” Edwards said.

The commission will include 15 task forces focusing on solutions for sectors including energy and manufacturing; health care, including improved delivery of medical care, health equity and enhanced facilities; tourism, including hotels, gaming and related hospitality entities; rural development; education and workforce, with attention given to the training needs of displaced workers; and economic and community development, including strategies for making regions and communities more resilient in the face of future health care threats and other risks, the press release said.

Edwards’ announcement of the commission’s formation came amid still-rising numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths.

The latest figures released by the Louisiana Department of Health show Lincoln Parish with 43 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. That’s two more cases than were reported on Wednesday.

But, the numbers are probably inaccurate because they reflect COVID-19 swab tests done as long as a week ago. Plus, previous local reports have counted people who are not Lincoln Parish residents.

None of the reports account for patients who may have COVID-19 but whose symptoms are mild enough that they haven’t seen a doctor.

The state report also still does not reflect two parish deaths local officials announced on Monday were attributable to COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Thursday’s statewide numbers stood at 22,532 confirmed cases statewide and 1,156 deaths.