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Edwards asks residents to prepare for possible storms

gov edwards_AP.jpeg
Posted at 12:33 PM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 20:38:35-04

Gov Edwards started his coronavirus briefing off with the weather.

Louisiana will see the possibility of two named storms in the Gulf of Mexico by next week.

The governor's office is monitoring the storms and asked that residents be ready for the possibility of a potential Hurricane or Tropical Storm.

GOSHEP will begin working with leaders in the coastal parishes to prepare for any possible storms that could make landfall on or near the Louisiana coast.

"I am encouraging you to check your emergency supplies. Think about what you need to do for your family if a hurricane were to impact your area." he said. "please prepare yourself"

Edward urged residents to go to the website getagameplan.org

On the COVID-19 update, Gov Edwards says that the rate of positivity in the state has decreased. It is now at 8.77 percent.

He says that the reduced positivity indicates we are moving in the right direction. So far, three of the nine regions are testing below the average.

As of August 20, the number of coronavirus cases reported in Louisiana increased by 918 and the number of deaths had increased by 28, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

The total number of cases in the state is now at 140,821 and 4,496 deaths as of Thursday.

LDH is reporting that 118,120 coronavirus patients are "presumed recovered" (updated weekly, last updated 8/17/20).

The LDH reports 1,087 people currently hospitalized (down 73 from Wednesday) and 178 of those are on ventilators (up 2 from Wednesday)

See the numbers here

Hospitalizations have dropped in the state. Decreases has been consistent and sustained and today has seen the largest drop in some time. Mitigation measures are working and helping to bring that number down.

Edwards says there is still a worry about people being mobile. Schools are reopening campuses this month and more people will be coming into contact with each other at a rate not seen since early March.

He asks that people continue to follow the mitigation measures in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 as this happens. If students are sick they should not go to school, Edwards says. He urges parents to monitor their children once they return.

There was mention of how schools systems will be letting students, staff and parents know if there are positive tests at local schools. LDH is working to make sure that school systems can share that information with them and a way to report should be released soon.

KATC requested information on how school systems and LDH will report any positive cases and received this response:

The Louisiana Department of Health and the Department of Education have been working closely on preparations for children returning to school, including on a COVID-19 school surveillance system that would help drive public health action. While LDH investigations and data are protected, the system would allow the DOE and local schools and school districts to efficiently report relevant COVID-19 data in schools for greater public visibility. We expect this system to be in place soon. We recognize the importance of making this information available and are working to have it in place as soon as possible.

Read more on that here.

On Wednesday State health officials met with the higher education leaders to be transparent and timely in reporting cases of COVID-19 to the public. "we believe the reporting should come from the institutions," Edwards said.

LDH says the information they will focusing on is on campus students but information about the number of cases for virtual students also will be beneficial.

"we are still working out some of the details the system."

LSU began reporting cases in the community this week. UL Lafayette has stated that they are working on a dashboard that is expected to be ready by next week. They will report positive COVID-19 cases in the UL community. Currently, they are working on how reporting should be done with concerns over those who are taking classes remotely.

More on that can be viewed here.

Edwards said that the $300 unemployment payments should be made by next week at the latest. There was no date set on when that would be.

"I can commit to next week," he said in relation to a question on the benefits. " I hope by early next week."

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