Gov. Edwards calls decrease in COVID-19 cases a ‘modest and sustained improvement’ but more work needs to done

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards holds up his own mask.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards holds up his own mask.(STAFF PHOTO BY TRAVIS SPRADLING | Travis Spradling/The Advocate via AP)
Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 9:01 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2020 at 4:29 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards called the decrease in COVID-19 cases in Louisiana over the last week a “modest and sustained improvement,” during a news conference Tuesday, Aug. 18.

Gov. Edwards presser

#WATCH Gov. John Bel Edwards will be providing updates on COVID-19 in Louisiana around 3 p.m.

Posted by KALB News Channel 5 on Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The Louisiana Department of Health reported 644 new cases of COVID-19 in Louisiana Tuesday.

Edwards said the state’s percent positivity rate for the virus had dropped below 10% to 9.4%.

Dr. Debora Birx of the White House Coronavirus Task Force told Edwards during a call before the briefing Louisiana is “no longer in the red,” in regards to the positivity rate, he said.

However, the governor said Louisiana is still in the red in terms of cases that are developing every day because the state still has a high incidence of COVID-19.

On Monday, the Louisiana Department of Health reported an additional 753 cases of COVID-19 across the state and 19 new deaths. Over 1,200 people remain hospitalized, with about 184 of those patients needing ventilators.

State leaders say mitigation measures are working to stop the spread of the virus, but the gains are fragile.

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