Gov. Edwards, health officials urge residents to wear masks as COVID-19 cases rise

Gov. Edwards urges people to wear masks as state moves in wrong direction of COVID-19 fight

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards and health officials from the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) urged residents to wear a mask while out in public during a news conference about COVID-19 Wednesday, June 24.

LDH reported 856 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, the second day of numbers not seen since April.

After several weeks of a decline in cases and hospitalizations, Edwards said Louisiana is headed in the wrong direction. He urged residents to wear masks while out in public and practice social distancing and proper handwashing.

The governor called on young people to take the threat of COVID-19 seriously and wear their masks to help prevent the spread to other people.

Health officials say the largest increase in cases has been in residents in the 18-29 age group.

Edwards said while the state is testing more people for the virus, the positivity rate among those tested is increasing and is cause for concern.

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He also said the vast majority of cases are coming from community spread, instead of congregate settings like nursing homes.

Edwards news conference came two days after he announced the state would not move to Phase 3 due to those concerns. The current Phase 2 restrictions were set to expire Friday, June 26.

Across the U.S., new coronavirus cases have surged to their highest level in two months and back to where they were at the peak of the outbreak.

Louisiana ranks seventh out of 23 states across the country experiencing an increase in COVID-19 positive cases.

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