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White House Coronavirus Task Force says Louisiana has 32nd highest rate in nation

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Posted at 3:40 PM, Dec 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-02 16:40:28-05

BATON ROUGE, La.  — The White House Coronavirus Task Force has released this week’s briefing for state governors dated Nov. 29, which has been obtained by ABC News.

The WHCTF recommends in the report that everyone over the age of 65 or with significant health conditions “should not enter any indoor public spaces where anyone is unmasked.”

According to the WHCTF report, Louisiana is in the red zone for cases, indicating 101 or more new cases per 100,000 population, with the 32nd highest rate in the country. And Louisiana is in the yellow zone for test positivity, indicating a rate between 5.0% and 7.9%, with the 38th highest rate in the country.

The report states that Louisiana has seen a decrease in new cases and stability in test positivity.

The report lists Jefferson, East Baton Rouge and Ouachita Parishes respectively as the three parishes with the highest number of new cases over the last three weeks. These parishes also represent 20.6% of new cases in Louisiana.

Lafayette is also listed among the top 10 localities located in the red zone, the report states.

According to the report, 91% of all parishes in Louisiana have moderate or high levels of community transmission (yellow, orange, or red zones), with 45% having high levels of community transmission (red zone).

During the week of Nov. 16 - 22, the report says 21% of nursing homes had at least one new resident COVID-19 case, 38% had at least one new staff COVID-19 case and 6% had at least one new resident COVID-19 death.

The WHCTF says that Louisiana had 299 new cases per 100,000 population, compared to a national average of 349 per 100,000.

According to the report, current staff deployed from the federal government as assets to support the state response include three to support operations activities from FEMA and 45 to support operations activities from USCG.

Between Nov. 21 - 27, the report says that on average 147 patients with confirmed COVID-19 and 27 patients with suspected COVID-19 were reported as newly admitted each day to hospitals in Louisiana. This is an increase of 15% in total COVID-19 hospital admissions.

According to its recommendations the WHCTF says that:

The COVID risk to all Americans is at a historic high. The national daily COVID incidence after Memorial Day, but before the summer surge, was fewer than 25,000 new cases/day and is now more than 180,000 new cases/day; COVID inpatients then were fewer than 30,000 but are now more than 90,000; fatalities have more than doubled. We are in a very dangerous place due to the current, extremely high COVID baseline and limited hospital capacity; a further post-Thanksgiving surge will compromise COVID patient care, as well as medical care overall.

If state and local policies do not reflect the seriousness of the current situation, all public health officials must alert the state population directly. It must be made clear that if you are over 65 or have significant health conditions, you should not enter any indoor public spaces where anyone is unmasked due to the immediate risk to your health; you should have groceries and medications delivered.

If you are under 40, you need to assume you became infected during the Thanksgiving period if you gathered beyond your immediate household.

Most likely, you will not have symptoms; however, you are dangerous to others and you must isolate away from anyone at increased risk for severe disease and get tested immediately.

If you are over 65 or have significant medical conditions and you gathered outside of your immediate household, you are at a significant risk for serious COVID infection; if you develop any symptoms, you must be tested immediately as the majority of therapeutics work best early in infection.”

You can read the full report below from the WHCTF (Louisiana is on pg. 145):

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