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Number of coronavirus cases in La. starting to plateau, Gov. Edwards says

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards(Hilary Scheinuk / The Advocate via AP)
Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 9:34 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 28, 2020 at 5:06 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The number of positive coronavirus cases is starting to show early signs of plateauing, Governor John Bel Edwards said in a press conference Tuesday, July 28.

WATCH LIVE: Gov. Edwards holds COVID-19 update.

Posted by KALB News Channel 5 on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Before the number of positive coronavirus cases decreases, the numbers must first come to a plateau, Edwards said.

The rate of hospitalizations has flattened over the last six days. Despite this, Louisiana now has the highest number of coronavirus cases per capita in the U.S. It is also one of the only states that had a high number of cases in March and in July, Edwards said.

“Limit your movement,” Edwards said. “If everybody would cut at least in half the number of times they leave their homes that would have a tremendously positive impact.”

Edwards said 91% of Tuesday’s cases were caused by community spread.

As of Tuesday, there were 1,125 new cases in Louisiana and 26 more coronavirus-related deaths reported. Hospitalizations were up to 1,583 and just over 200 patients were on ventilators, according to data from the Louisiana Department of Health.

Data shows that it takes about two weeks after a change in behavior to see changes in data, Edwards said. The governor implemented a statewide mask mandate two weeks ago.

“We know [wearing masks] works,” Edwards said.

The governor extended Phase 2 of reopening the economy last week until at least Aug. 7. On Tuesday, the state started taking applications for more aid for small businesses. Over 10,000 applications were already submitted Tuesday, Edwards said.

State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning, Jr. said four bars have been placed on a 30-day suspension after not following phase 2 restrictions. This is the first punitive action that has been taken against businesses since the state began a phased reopening with restrictions.

Our Lady of the Lake asked for federal help last week to handle the influx of coronavirus patients. Earlier in the week, the hospital paused all non-emergency surgeries to keep up with the growing number of patients.

Edwards urged residents to follow the statewide mask mandate, adhere to social distancing guidelines and practice proper hygiene. He also asked people to stay home as much as possible and to avoid large social gatherings.

Currently, young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 currently make up the vast majority of positive cases of the coronavirus in the state, according to data from the LDH. The governor released a video warning young people last week about the dangers of the virus after recent outbreaks, including some at graduation parties and Tigerland bars.

The biggest trial yet of a coronavirus vaccine began Monday with about 30,000 Americans receiving experimental shots from the federal government.

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