Gov. Edwards says La. has more COVID-19 cases than ever before; not considering a statewide mask mandate
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards said there are now more cases of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in Louisiana than at any other time during the pandemic.
“We have a state-wide epidemic,” the governor said during his weekly news conference Wednesday, July 8.
The Louisiana Department of Health reported 1,891 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday out of 18,139 tests. Officials said the positivity rate was slightly over 10% and 95% of those cases were from community spread.
“We’ve had three weeks now of going in the wrong direction, with respect to the numbers that we’re seeing on cases and hospitalizations [COVID-19],” Edwards said.
Edwards said he is concerned because those numbers do not reflect any infections that may have occurred over the Fourth of July weekend. He said the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations spiked approximately two weeks after the Memorial Day weekend.
The governor said Louisiana has lost all of the ground it gained in June in terms of hospitalizations. Some hospitals are experiencing numbers of patients not seen in Louisiana since April, according to Edwards. However, Edwards said he is not considering a statewide mask mandate or increasing restrictions on reopening businesses, such as bars and restaurants.
Edwards explained most of the cases of COVID-19 were in the state were located to the New Orleans area in the first three months of the pandemic. He said now cases and hospitalizations from COVID-19 are on the rise across all regions of the state.
The White House Coronavirus Taskforce picked Baton Rouge as one of three U.S. cities to receive surge testing sites. Edwards said you do not have to be a Baton Rouge resident to get tested at one of the four testing sites.
To register for a COVID-19 test visit https://www.doineedacovid19test.com/.
Full press conference:
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