EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, La. (WAFB) - According to newly released numbers from the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), East Baton Rouge Parish has surpassed Orleans Parish in the number of positive coronavirus cases.
“That per capita ranking should be an alarm bell for everyone to fully understand just how serious this pandemic is here in Louisiana,” Governor John Bel Edwards said.
Gov. Edwards called the crisis dire, and says if we don’t all do our part and take the virus seriously, more of us could be at risk.
”There’s no doubt in my mind we have more of this virus in Louisiana today than we’ve had at any point thus far,” he added.
Looking at the new numbers reported by the state, East Baton Rouge Parish has now passed up Orleans Parish. EBR is now reporting the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in the state. An early hot spot, Orleans Parish has long been ahead of East Baton Rouge Parish in the number of infections across Louisiana, but as of Tuesday, July 28, East Baton Rouge has recorded 10,155 positive cases while Orleans Parish is reporting 10,071 cases.
When looking at the number of deaths in each parish, East Baton Rouge is reporting 315 deaths while Orleans has seen 553 residents lost to the virus. Mayor Sharon Weston Broome calls it concerning and chose to extend the mask mandate currently in effect across the parish. She and the governor agree, wearing a mask remains one of the best ways to stay protected.
”You cannot get to a transmission rate of less than one without the mitigation measures that include mandatory masks and bar closures,” the governor added.
The state remains in Phase 2 of reopening at this point. Right now, there are no plans to put further restrictions in place, but the governor says it all depends on what people choose to do going forward.
”We’ve got on top of it once before. We can do it again and we can do it without going back to a stay-at-home or without closing more businesses and so forth, but it really is going to require all of us. Every single person has to do their part,” said Gov. Edwards.
This comes several weeks after East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome instituted a mask mandate for several parts of East Baton Rouge Parish to help slow the spread of the virus. The mayor’s office last week pointed to some progress, saying the parish saw a decrease in positive case growth.
WAFB’s Scottie Hunter will have the full report tonight on 9News at 10.
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