BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - It has been three weeks now since East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome issued an executive order that people wear face masks while out in public, and since then, the mayor’s office says there has been a notable decrease in the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 in Baton Rouge.
The mayor’s office says in the two weeks leading up to the mask mandate, East Baton Rouge Parish had a positivity rate of 13%. Over the past four days, the positivity rate has dropped to 9%, the mayor’s office says.
“While we are finding more new COVID-19 cases than before the mask mandate, we are pleased with the decrease in our positivity rate. This decrease signals face coverings are helping in our effort to flatten the curve,” said Mayor Broome. “We are still not where we want to be, but our effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and the support from both the business community and citizens of this parish show this executive order has helped us take a large step in the right direction.”
Both the CDC and the White House recommend that positivity rates should be below 15% for 14 days to enter Phase 2 of reopening and under 10% to enter Phase 3. The World Health Organization recommends a positivity rate below 5% to show a flattening of the curve.
Governor John Bel Edwards recently announced the state will remain in Phase 2 until at least Aug. 7.
Click here to read the governor’s new executive order extending Phase 2.
“We are still seeing the concerning effects of the coronavirus resurgence in our community, including our area hospitals reaching capacity and postponing non-emergency procedures,” said Mayor Broome. “Now is the time to double-down in our efforts to flatten the curve. I implore all of our residents to wear a face covering, get tested, and practice social distancing and good hygiene.”
Since the mask mandate in Baton Rouge went into effect on July 3, there have been 32,435 COVID-19 tests administered across the city-parish and reported to the Louisiana Department of Health, the mayor’s office says.
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