On Friday, Gov. John Bel Edwards says that while the state is not mandating masking, they are seriously considering doing so as COVID cases surge.
At a press conference, Edwards says that the state is now in a position we were trying to avoid.
The full live stream is below:
"The Delta variant is a game changer," he said. "This variant is much more transmissible and more dangerous."
Edwards says that he has spoken with hospital leaders who are seeing more COVID patients than any point during the pandemic.
Thousands of new cases and dozens of hospitalizations are being reported each day with a younger group on average being hospitalized.
Getting vaccinated means you’re less likely to catch COVID-19 and more importantly, it means you’re much less likely to have a severe reaction. Protect yourself, get vaccinated. https://t.co/c3yx8bhKoQ. #lagov pic.twitter.com/WnaOmJlwSH— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) July 30, 2021
"The trends touch every region of the state," Edwards said.
Louisiana is number one in the country for new case growth and has been labeled a state of concern. We are now the foremost state of concern in the US.
At least 83.7 percent of cases are the Delta variant.
"You have to take the same precaution regardless. You could be 8 or 9 times as contagious than you would have been for the previous versions of COVID-19," he said. "We have a heightened duty.
In light of the trends, numerous requests from hospitals have asked for the reinstatement of the mask mandate for Louisiana.
Edwards says that he is seriously looking into doing so. Right now, they will be reviewing data from the CDC before a mask mandate is reimposed. A decision is expected as early as Monday, Edwards said.
Right now, the state is recommending people who are vaccinated and unvaccinated to mask when indoors or when social distancing is not possible.
45 hospitals requested help because of the surge. LDH is working to execute a contract to create more hospital beds and staffing increase.
It is not whether we mask or get vaccinated, we have to do both, Edwards said. Vaccine rates have increased, Edwards stated.
State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter says that it is worse now than it has been at any point in the pandemic. "It is shocking," he said.
According to their data, Kanter says that both people who are vaccinated and unvaccinated should mask
Kanter asks that people who need test for COVID to not go to hospitals so they can continue assisting people.
For those needing to be tested, Kanter asks that you contact 211.
KATC will stream the briefing online at KATC.com/live and our Facebook page.
A live steam can be viewed below:
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