NEW ORLEANS — Hospitality workers demanding paid sick leave derailed a planned news conference Monday set to address New Orleans’ preparations to Louisiana’s first confirmed case of COVID-19.
A 2:30 p.m. news conference was delayed after about a dozen members of the New Orleans Hospitality Worker's Alliance were able to get inside the briefing room before Mayor LaToya Cantrell address the media. The group had been protesting outside City Hall before the news conference.
"We work sick, you get sick" the protesters chanted as Cantrell approached the podium.
"We are in full support of paid sick leave, quality care for all residents of the city of New Orleans," Cantrell said after taking questions directly from the protesters.
"I can absolutely understand where they are coming from and the needs of our residents and all of our employees in the city of New Orleans should be a priority, and it is absolutely for me as mayor," Cantrell said as security led the protesters from the briefing room.
The Louisiana Department of Health reported its first presumptive positive case of coronavirus Monday, a Jefferson Parish resident that is hospitalized in Orleans Parish.
The case is considered "presumptive" until officially confirmed by the Center for Disease Control. At this time, it is the only known case of the disease in the state.