State officials will spend this weekend reviewing state COVID-19 data to decide what the state's next steps will be, Gov. John Bel Edwards said today.
Based on the White House re-opening protocol, the state's numbers must show 14 days of sustained improvement in order to qualify for Phase I of economic re-opening. Edwards said he could not say if we will move to Phase I on May 15.
Edwards said he hopes to announce on Monday what the next steps will be on May 15, but that will depend on what the data show this weekend, he said.
"The numbers statewide are moving in a good direction, but if you only look at the state numbers, you don't see that there are a couple of regions in the state that are maybe on a plateau or inching up, and we have to continue to look at that," Edwards said.
In addition to the number of deaths and new cases, the data to be reviewed are symptoms reported in emergency rooms, the percentage of tests given that are positive, the disease burden, or cases per 100,000 residents, and other sets, all determined by the CDC, he said.
"I can tell you that we feel much better today than we did a couple weeks ago on testing and contact tracing," he said. "And those two areas are the areas where you have to be in a better place in when it comes to the ability to re-open."
Contact tracing is the process that state health officials use after someone tests positive; they talk to the infected person to trace their movement over the past 14 days and then start contacting people that person may have infected.
In response to a question about businesses defying his orders, Edwards said he's encouraging citizens not to patronize businesses who won't follow the rules - including the requirement that employees wear masks if they have contact with the public.
It's critical to cut down on the spread of the disease; it will keep deaths down and keep hospitalizations down - and thus avoid overwhelming the health care system and saving more lives.
On Wednesday, May 6, Governor John Bel Edwards will hold a press briefing on the state's response to COVID-19.
On May 6, the Louisiana Department of Health reported 30,399 confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the state. This includes 403 additional cases than were reported yesterday.
A total of 2,042 people have died of the disease in Louisiana since Tuesday. The number of deaths has yet to be updated due to network issues.
The LDH website reports:
"Network issues on May 6, 2020 impacted our epidemiology team's database that powers our COVID-19 reporting system for positive cases from labs and deaths. LDH will update the number of reported deaths as soon as the issues have been resolved."
The Louisiana Department of Health was reporting that 20,316 coronavirus patients are "presumed recovered." This is 3,013 more recovered cases than were reported by LDH last week.
The LDH reports that 1,465 people are hospitalized and that 187 require ventilators.
LDH updates their numbers each day at noon; today computer issues delayed the numbers.
To see the latest numbers and a breakdown by parish, click here.
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