We like seeing the words "Louisiana Ranks #1" when we are talking about great food, great football teams, great places to visit, and great people. We are less than thrilled when that "top of the heap" ranking means we lead the nation in a healthcare crisis.

Governor John Bel Edwards made that announcement yesterday as he was briefing you and me about the latest efforts to curb the coronavirus pandemic in our state yesterday. Edwards says the ranking should serve as an "alarm bell for everyone to understand just how serious this is".

Louisiana's State Fire Marshal Butch Browing whose office has been conducting business compliance checks for coronavirus protocol violations says they've done more than 5,000 checks. Browning told the Louisiana Radio Network that most businesses are in compliance and those that don't make the grade usually make the adjustments to get into compliance after just one visit.

Browning did say that four businesses have had their bar permits suspended because of compliance issues. Those businesses, Sand Dollar Tiki Bar in Grand Isle, Frosty Factory in Lake Charles, Pelican Pub in Gonzales, and Wo-de’s Chill Spot in Harvey will have a hearing with the Alcohol-Tobacco Control Agency in early August to see if further sanctions will be necessary.

Now, despite the compliance closures and the ominous ranking per capita, Louisiana does have some good news in regard to quelling the coronavirus pandemic. Governor Edwards did suggest that many of the metrics used to monitor the pandemic are showing signs that "the curve is flattening" once again.

Many believe that bar closures and a statewide mask mandate have helped to quell the number of cases since they were implemented about two weeks ago. Tuesday's report from the Louisiana Department of Health showed that the daily percentage of positive test results had dropped below 7% which could be a sign that things are in fact moving in the right direction once again.

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