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Gov Edwards gives update on COVID-19 response in Louisiana

Edwards presser 7-30.PNG
Posted at 2:09 PM, Jul 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 16:46:41-04

Gov. John Bel Edwards gave an update on COVID-19 in the state mentioning that recent state numbers updates could be showing a plateau of cases.

Despite that possible trend, the governor says the situation remains very serious in Louisiana.

As of July 30, the number of coronavirus cases reported in Louisiana increased by 1,708 and the number of deaths had increased by 42, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

The total number of cases in the state is now at 114,481 and 3,811 deaths as of Thursday. See more of those numbers here.

There has been a drop in hospitalizations and a decrease for those on ventilators.

In every region, Edwards says the percent positive is over 10 percent. As of july 24, the state was at 14.34% positive

"We want it below 10 percent."

The rate of transmission in the state is above 1 in all regions. That means that for every person infected, one additional person will be infected.

"We believe that there are 38,000 active known cases in Louisiana, right now. That does not count those who may be asymptomatic."

The state remains on the top of the list of the state with the largest number of cases per-capita.

"We hope that we are seeing a trend towards a plateau albeit a high level of cases. We do have a couple regions, in the Monroe and Alexandria area, where there is an increase in hospitalizations," Edwards said at the beginning of the press conference.

Dr. Gahli from Shreveport -LSU Health Science Center Chancellor was on hand to provide insight into the northern region of Louisiana and their response to COVID-19.

He says they have not had the number of cases seen in lower areas of Louisiana. There has been a steep rise in the past days including what appears to be a plateau that the state is also possibly seeing.

50 ICU beds were increased to 150 ICU beds within the northern regions of the state. The area currently have the highest number of available ICU beds, according to Gahli.

The LSU Health Science Center has been able to create a lab to do over 1,000 tests a day. Doubling or Tripling the testing will be likely in the next two weeks.

Gahli mentioned that they believe the spread of COVID-19 in their area nursing homes has been contained. However, community spread has yet to be contained. Gahli says that the continued spread has a lot to do with large gatherings, and not wearing masks or following the state's mandates.

In other areas of the state, the Department of Corrections in midst of mass testing program
Governor Edwards says that today the department will complete testing at Allen Correctional Center. Testing has been ongoing and has found that 182 people are positive for COVID-19 with 147 of those being asymptomatic

The dept is also mass testing assisted living dorms at Angola. DOC will test at Rayburn next week and then Raymond Laborde Correctional Center.

The Department of Children and Family services has also seen a surge in SNAP applications. As a result SNAP benefits supplements were approved for August. Read more here.

The Department of Education in Louisiana was also awarded grant fund from DOE in the amount of $17 million. Read more here.

The governor says he will be signing of another proclamation on next Thursday. Monday, he will inform the public on where Louisiana stands and what will be done going forward. He does not expect that major changes to be made.

Edwards says the state seems to be settled in for the time being.

"The mask mandate is just part of the new normal. It remains the small price to pay to protect or neighbors and loved ones."

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